Cocaine was reason for burglaries

Two residential burglaries were committed earlier this year by Al Handel Pearson after he ‘became very heavily involved with cocaine,’ Defence Attorney John Furniss said before sentence was passed in Summary Court last Wednesday.

He told Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale that Pearson, 35, admitted the offences at an early stage and was admitted to the Drug Rehabilitation Court. Then there were some problems.

The magistrate remarked that Pearson had not responded to intervention measures used in the Drug Rehab Court. She noted later he had a charge for failing to attend the court.

The court file shows Pearson first appeared in regular court on 12 March. On 24 March he asked to enter the DRC programme and entered his guilty pleas.

What happened in the Drug Rehab Court was not made public. However, his DRC order was revoked on 18 June and he was returned to the regular court for sentencing.

Crown Counsel Jenesha Simpson said the first burglary occurred on 30 January. The complainant left home around 7.40am. Before leaving she locked the doors and windows, but left one front window slightly open for air to circulate.

Later in the day, she was contacted and advised that her front door was open. She went home immediately, found signs of an intruder and called police. She reported the loss of jewellery valued at $1,000.

The second burglary occurred some time between 12.30am and 6.30 am on 27 February. Pearson pleaded guilty to entering a residence and stealing a laptop computer valued at $1,000.

Ms Simpson said entry was gained through an open window. The occupants of the premises were home at the time.

Fingerprints led to Pearson’s arrest.

The magistrate said all domestic burglaries are serious, but it was an aggravating feature that the second one occurred at night while the residents were there. She sentenced Pearson to two years for the first burglary and three years for the second, ordering the terms to run concurrently.

Mr. Furniss said Pearson hoped to be sent to the Caribbean Haven residential drug treatment programme prior to his release from prison.

The magistrate urged him to register with the prison’s ‘through- and after-care programme’. Checking his file, she noted it listed his occupation as computer analyst.

‘That and more,’ he replied.

‘Shame on you,’ the magistrate told him. ‘You have so much potential. Sign up for all the programmes they have in prison. You are wasting your life, wasting your time. You can use your smarts for more than breaking into some man’s house.’