Ja visitor admits to 20 burglaries

Twenty residential burglaries were cleared up on Monday when a Jamaican national pleaded guilty to 12 and accepted eight others.

All 20 will be taken into consideration when Mrs. Justice Zaila McCalla sentenced Hasani Lindsay on 2 October.

Crown Counsel George Keightley said the value of the items stolen was between $40,000 and $50,000, and that was a conservative estimate. Some things were of sentimental value and therefore priceless. Nothing was recovered except coins taken in the last incident.

Lindsay, who will turn 25 the day before his sentencing, came to Cayman as a visitor and stayed for short periods at a time, Mr. Keightley said.

The last series of offences occurred after Lindsay arrived here on 26 June, 2005. Seven burglaries occurred over the next nine days. They were committed during the day, after the occupants had apparently left for work.

The incident that led to Lindsay’s arrest occurred on 5 July. A George Town home owner left his residence around 1.10 pm, securing doors and windows and setting a burglar alarm.

He returned around 2.30pm and heard the alarm go off. The man assumed there was a malfunction and walked in to disengage the alarm. Then he heard a door open. He turned and was confronted by Lindsay, who was holding a knife.

The intruder swiped at him with the knife, made a rude remark and ran out of the house with the knife and a rucksack. The home owner gave chase, first on foot and then with his car, meanwhile contacting police.

Officers found Lindsay hiding in bush off the Linford Pierson Highway. He still had the knife and rucksack, which contained coins.

The homeowner, who had suffered a minor injury, picked Lindsay out of an identification parade. Because of the knife, the defendant was charged with aggravated burglary.

His fingerprints were taken and then compared to prints lifted from other burglary scenes. There were positive matches in 11 other cases.

These offences occurred in December 2003, April 2004, December 2004, February 2005 and June-July 2005. Mr. Keightley said immigration records showed that the dates coincided with Lindsay’s presence on the island.

Of the offences not pleaded to, three were withdrawn. Lindsay signed a statement accepting the other eight and asking that they be taken into consideration. This was done pursuant to common law authority, Mr. Keightley said.

Defence Attorney Keith Collins pointed out that a two-week trial had been scheduled, so much time and money had been saved by Lindsay’s admissions.

He asked for an adjournment so that the court could be provided with sentencing precedents and the defendant’s particular background.

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