Burglar caught with stolen goods

Electronic goods, jewelry and other items valued at $5,214 were recovered when a police officer on patrol stopped a man walking with a blue canvas shopping bag, Magistrate Adam Roberts heard on Monday.

He was scheduled to sentence Brian Percival Rankine, 46, for burglary but asked for a social inquiry report after being told the defendant has had a drug addiction for 25 years.

Crown counsel Scott Wainwright presented the facts of the offense: a daytime burglary in the area of Lookout Gardens, Bodden Town, on June 5. He said the officer, who was patrolling the eastern districts saw Rankine, whom he knew, walking along Anton Bodden Drive around noon.

Rankine told the officer he was coming from a roofing job at the primary school. The officer asked to see what was in the shopping bag and when he checked, he found an electric drill, a tape measure, a pair of men’s sneakers, a pair of woman’s sneakers, a Samsung tablet and a mini-tablet.

A search of Rankine’s person revealed a small camera, several watches and jewelry in his pockets.

Later that day, an area resident reported that coins from a savings container, jewelry and electronic goods were missing from his home.

Rankine initially declined to answer questions and then denied the offense, but later pleaded guilty.

Defense attorney John Furniss accepted that his client fell into the sentencing range of three to four years for a second or subsequent burglary conviction, but pointed out that Rankine had pleaded guilty at a relatively early stage.

The defendant, who previously graduated from the Drug Rehabilitation Court program, had asked to be readmitted, Mr. Furniss explained. While in custody, Rankine went to Caribbean Haven, the residential program, but was expelled for acting disrespectfully to staff and asking to leave the program.

Rankine said he never asked to leave and he wanted to stay. Mr. Furniss read from a letter his client had written. In it, Rankine apologized for his behavior and asked for another chance. “I have a serious disease of drug addiction,” he wrote, adding that it has been a problem for 25 years. “I have spent nearly half my life in prison for crimes to support my addiction.”

Magistrate Valdis Foldats said the drug court wished to help Rankine, but public safety had to be considered. The drug court had tried everything with Rankine and Caribbean Haven had been the last resort.

Rankine was returned to the regular Summary Court for sentencing. Magistrate Roberts adjourned the matter until Nov. 3, continuing the defendant’s remand in custody.

“I have a serious disease of drug addiction.”

BRIAN RANKINE, defendant