Officer knew burglar

Prison term of 15 months imposed

Magistrate Grace Donalds reviewed
guidelines for identification evidence when she found Earl Joseph Hart, 20,
guilty of burglary. After hearing that the offence was committed while he had a
suspended sentence hanging over him, she activated it and made his total prison
term 15 months.

The burglary was committed at a
Bodden Town residence around 10am on 2 March. Two officers arrived while the
intruders were still at the premises.

One of the officers went to the
front door in time to see it open and Hart start to walk out.

The officer said he looked at her,
turned and ran, bumped into something in the house and went out the back door.
This happened in the space of 10 to 12 seconds.

The officer said she had known Earl
Hart since he was eight years old — they had grown up in East End and she knew
his family.

When she shouted his name at the
burglary scene, he looked back at her and continued to run as she pursued him.
Hart was eventually arrested at a Prospect residence in April.

In her judgment, the magistrate
pointed out that whenever a case rests wholly on identification which the
Defence alleges is mistaken, the judge should warn the jury that an honest
witness may be convincing but mistaken.

The circumstances of the
identification must be examined: the distance involved, the lighting, how long
the sighting lasted, whether the person was known before, and whether there was
any obstacle impeding vision, among other things.

The magistrate said she found the
identification evidence to be good.

The officer had more than a
fleeting glimpse in daylight of someone she knew and she could describe his
clothing.

The magistrate activated a six-month
term imposed in July 2009 for handling stolen goods, and added nine months for
the burglary, for the total 15 months.

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