Woman jailed after rehab rejected

A woman who walked out of residential drug rehabilitation after three days will be getting drug counselling after all. But this time the venue will be Fairbanks Prison, during a sentence of 33 months.

Lisa Veda Brown-Tajah, 39, appeared before Magistrate Grace Donalds earlier this month for breach of a probation order, breach of a community service order and three new offences.

In one incident, police found Brown a half hour after she stole money. She had already purchased cocaine and consumed it.

‘She’s a nuisance,’ Defence Attorney John Furniss acknowledged, referring to the relatively petty nature of Brown’s offences and previous convictions. ‘It is clear drugs are the problem.’

He noted that the magistrate had tried to deal with Brown’s problem by putting her on probation in November 2005 after she pleaded guilty to burglary. A condition of probation was that she live at Caribbean Haven Residential Centre for three months and take part in that drug rehabilitation programme.

Mr. Furniss advised the court that Brown had told him she left rehab because she was concerned about her mother.

As a result of another incident on 17 December, she was charged with criminal trespass. A West Bay resident returned home at 6.22pm and saw Brown standing outside his house with her hand on the doorknob.

She appeared nervous and he asked her to leave. Police subsequently observed her trying the handles of other doors in the area. When spoken to, she admitted having no permission to be on the premises; she said she was there to beg for money.

On 7 February, a police officer learned that Brown had been attempting to sell a watch. When he spoke to her, she denied having one. When he said he would have to take her to the station for a search, she produced a watch and said she had found it behind a garage.

The owner identified the watch. Brown maintained that she had not stolen it; she had found it. She admitted being on the garage compound for the purpose of begging.

On 31 March, she was seen rushing out of a church in West Bay. A check revealed that a cell phone was missing.

When Brown was asked about the phone, she said she sold it but could not remember the buyer’s name.

The burglary that led to the chance for rehab occurred in June 2005. The complainant arrived home around 4.30pm and saw Brown leaving the house through the front door. He saw money in her hand, including a currency note, and stopped her.

He then checked with an occupant of the house to find out if Brown had permission to be inside. He learned she did not.

When he returned to the front of the house, Brown had left. He checked and found a quantity of 25-cent pieces missing from a drawer in his bedroom.

Police officers were notified and they found Brown at 5pm. She had $8 worth of 25-cent pieces on her. She admitted buying cocaine with the note and consuming it.

The community service order was imposed for an offence of criminal trespass that also occurred in June 2005. In that incident a home helper walked into the hallway and saw Brown. Brown told her she had come to sell something and had called out but there was no answer.

All incidents occurred in West Bay.

In revoking her previous orders, the magistrate imposed consecutive sentences in their place. She imposed two other consecutive sentences and one concurrent, for a total of 33 months.

The magistrate directed that Brown receive drug counselling while in custody.