Burglary, handling charges withdrawn

Defendant wore electronic monitor for nine months

A man charged with burglary and handling stolen goods last year was discharged this week after the Crown withdrew the charges. 

Philip Dudley McLaughlin, 53, had been accused of entering a warehouse on Industrial Way as a trespasser between Nov. 16 and 17, 2014, and stealing $35,000 worth of liquor. An alternative charge was handling 51 bottles of liquor, valued at $1,500, knowing or believing them to be stolen. 

In withdrawing the charges, Crown counsel Nicole Petit advised Chief Magistrate Nova Hall that the defendant had been wearing an electronic monitoring device while waiting for the outcome of his court case, so it could now be removed. 

When McLaughlin first appeared in court on Nov. 20, the Crown objected to bail. Some of the reasons cited included his apparent lack of employment and the finding of the 51 bottles of liquor at his premises in George Town. 

Defense attorney John Furniss told Magistrate Grace Donalds that McLaughlin’s income came from tenants who occupied the property, which was easily accessible by other people. He advised that McLaughlin had certain medical issues, which made him wonder if his client could even lift cases of liquor. 

Among the conditions of McLaughlin’s bail were wearing an electronic monitor, a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., and reporting to police twice a week. 

On Dec. 4, McLaughlin pleaded not guilty to both charges and trial was set for Aug. 24. On that date, however, Mr. Furniss was involved in a Grand Court trial and McLaughlin’s trial was rescheduled. 

Mr. Furniss asked the Crown to review the matter. On Tuesday, Ms. Petit withdrew the charges.