Stolen goods were traded for cocaine

Burglary was cry for help, attorney tells court

Al Handel Pearson, 37, was remanded in custody on Wednesday for the charge of burglary at a George Town residence. Crown Counsel Laura Manson said Pearson admitted the burglary and told police he had exchanged items stolen for cocaine to the value of $300. 

No plea was entered, but defence attorney Prathna Bodden said Pearson was aware of CCTV at the premises and expected to be caught.  

“This was a cry for help,” she told Magistrate Nova Hall. “He seeks the assistance of the court for his addiction.” 

The burglary occurred on 13 October during a period when the occupant was at work. Her report to police indicated when she left her residence she thought it was secured. She subsequently realised a back window had been left open, Ms Manson told the court. The complainant said jewellery and a laptop were missing. No total value was stated in court. 

Ms Manson said police attended the scene and found a palm print at the point of entry – the open window. The woman and a family member watched the CCTV that had been installed after a previous burglary; the family member identified Pearson as the intruder. When police contacted him, he was wearing clothing that matched what was seen on the CCTV. Pearson admitted taking the items to obtain cocaine, Ms Manson summarised. 

The defendant was first brought to court on Monday; his attorney requested the matter be adjourned and more information provided so a bail application could be made. 

That took place two days later. Ms Bodden said the only reason bail was sought was Pearson’s severe blood pressure problem – he had been taken to the hospital the previous day, she reported. The attorney suggested house arrest or an electronic monitoring tag and advised relatives of the defendant were willing to stand as sureties. 

Pearson accepted he had previous convictions and had been involved in the Drug Rehabilitation Court, Ms Bodden said. At that time he was not willing to abide by its structure, but he now realised he needed help. 

In denying bail, the magistrate said the strength of the evidence was considerable and pointed to a likelihood of conviction with a sentence of imprisonment. Further, she noted, the court had seen in the past that 24-hour curfews and electronic tags did not necessarily prevent offending. 

The matter was set for mention again on 8 November. 

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