Repeat offender pleads guilty
Leburn Prendergast, 46, was
sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment on Monday after he pleaded guilty to
burglary and refusing to provide a specimen of urine for drug testing.
He admitted entering The Office
Lounge in George Town as a trespasser on 4 April and stealing alcohol and
cigarettes valued at $488.45. Defence Attorney John Furniss agreed with
Magistrate Nova Hall that Prendergast had a long list of previous convictions,
most recently a conviction in June 2005. He served his sentence and has been
out of prison for two years and had not committed any further offences.
“He was having a terrible time
getting employment,” Mr. Furniss said. “He was doing odd jobs… pulling bush
and so on.”
His previous record may have been a
factor in his difficulty finding work, Mr. Furniss indicated, but it also led
to other problems. Prendergast believed that police were watching him. In the
most recent incident, when officers asked him for a urine sample, he became
agitated and refused.
Mr. Furniss said the burglary
occurred at unoccupied commercial premises, and no one was disturbed. Further,
Prendergast entered his plea at his first court appearance, saving everyone’s
Crown Counsel Kenneth Ferguson said
the premises had been secured at the close of business the night before, and
when an employee arrived at 6.30am the next morning, the employee found one of
the roll-up windows open, with a stool under it. A lock on the window was
Officers took swabs and discovered
fingerprints on the bottom of the shutter. Prendergast’s fingerprints, taken on
11 August, matched those at the scene. He initially admitted going to the
location but did not specifically admit that he had committed the burglary.
The magistrate gave credit for the
early guilty plea. However, she indicated, that was balanced by his extensive
list of previous convictions, including some for burglary. She imposed a term
of 18 months for the burglary and a concurrent three-month sentence for
refusing to provide the specimen.