The burglary of North Side Police Station has put a young man in prison for two years. Refusal to provide a specimen of urine for drug testing added another six months.
Davis Bennett received the total sentence of two and a half years on 8 November. According to dates on his charges, it was his 21st birthday.
Bennett, a resident of North Side, pleaded guilty to entering the station as a trespasser between 22-23 July and stealing a quantity of tools valued at $3,207.50.
According to the Crown’s summary of facts, the station was under renovation at the time and unable to be secured.
The tools belonged to the construction company doing the project and two workers. They reported the incident and police investigated.
Information was received that Bennett had been trying to sell a jack hammer and a power saw. Officers executed a search warrant at Bennett’s house, but nothing was found.
He initially denied knowlege, but shortly afterwards showed the officers where the tools were.
Later, a citizen attended the Bodden Town Police Station and handed in other tools after hearing that they had been stolen. He told police he had paid Bennett $25 for them.
Defence Attorney John Furniss urged the court to consider Bennett’s guilty plea and cooperation. The tools had been recovered and the station had been unoccupied, so there was no danger to any person.
The defendant also pleaded guilty to the refusal charge. That offence occurred in February. Mr. Furniss said Bennett felt at the time he had a good reason not to give a specimen. However, it did not provide a defence in law.
For a separate set of offences, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale imposed a sentence of seven days concurrent.
Bennett had pleaded guilty with explanation and the magistrate accepted that his explanation was powerful.
The offences occurred in March at a licensed premises sometime after midnight. Bennett, who was under curfew at the time, told the court he had received a call that his mother was being interfered with and he went to defend her.
A police officer who attended because of the same incident recognised Bennett as being under curfew, arrested him and was resisted.
The magistrate said she was not insensible to Bennett’s response to the call he had received. But the officer was within his rights to arrest him for breach of curfew. In fact, if he didn’t, he would be chastised because the magistrate was the one with whom discretion lies.