9 months for variety of charges

Desiree Ebanks was sentenced to nine months prison Tuesday and ordered to pay $700 in fines in relation to burglary, traffic, theft, drug and trespass offences committed between May 2005 and January 2007.

Magistrate Grace Donalds ordered the seven months Ebanks had already served in custody to be deducted from the sentence.

The charges related to four separate incidents dating back to May 2005.

In the first, Ebanks, 42, was charged after a collision on Cumber Avenue, Bodden Town, in May 2005.

Ebanks told police the crash occurred after she swerved to miss a discarded bathtub that was on the road, causing her to collide into an oncoming vehicle, damaging its front right fender.

Ebanks fled the scene but was later arrested after officers found her surveying damage to her car in the vicinity of the Pirate Caves.

The officers discovered the car’s registration was expired and had no certificate of roadworthiness. She pleaded guilty to these charges and to additional charges of careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

The next month, Ebanks was pulled over by police in Bodden Town where she was again found to be driving without registration or roadworthiness certificates. When officers searched her car they also found a quantity of ganja, the court heard.

On the next group of charges, Ebanks pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and theft after she took plantings from a plantation in Lower Valley.

A charge for failing to surrender to custody, which came about after she failed to produce herself to the courts as required on 27 April, 2006, was also raised against her.

The three separate burglary offences all occurred between August 2006 and January 2007.

Crown Counsel Gail Johnson told the court that in August 2006 Ebanks entered a residence through an open screen door, taking items including a Blackberry phone, a drivers licence and CAD$533 cash.

In January 2007, Ebanks returned to the same premises, taking a video camera, a dive watch, diamond and gold earrings, a necklace, cash, a mobile phone and other jewellery.

This came after another burglary in November 2006 in which she broke a window to gain entry to a house, stealing various items including three Luis Vuitton handbags and a gold ring.

Ms Johnson said some of the stolen items from the burglaries had since been recovered by police.

Ebanks pleaded guilty to all offences, except the one of failing to surrender to custody.

Defence Counsel Ben Tonner acknowledged the burglary offences were motivated by drug use, a problem that had since been addressed while on remand in Fairbanks prison.

He said that prison counselling services had recommended that that his client is a good candidate for drug rehabilitation and that if she were returned to the community it would be on this basis.

In requesting a community based penalty for his client, Mr. Tonner explained that Ebanks had two children, one that particularly required assistance.

He noted that Ebanks had admitted to all offences (other than the failure to surrender to custody charge) and had not sought to avoid the consequences of her actions.

After doing a beauty course at Fairbanks Prison, he said Ebanks had been offered a job by the woman responsible for the course, which she hoped to take up upon her release.

In the alternative, she is optimistic of working as a chef at Fairbanks prison, he explained.

Magistrate Donalds elected to leave on file the careless driving, criminal trespass and failure to surrender charges.

She sentenced Ebanks to nine month prison for each of the three burglary offences – to be served concurrently – and imposed fines for the other driving offences. For the possession of ganja charge, Magistrate Donalds imposed a two year probation order.

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