Water request leads to charges

A request for water, cigarettes and dollars led to charges of burglary and assault, Magistrate Valdis Foldats heard on Friday.

Defendant Marty Dean Whittaker, 43, appeared before him and was denied bail after Crown counsel Eleanor Fargin outlined the allegations.

She said the charges arose from incidents at a George Town residence on Jan. 31. The complainant reported that he first saw a man, whom he did not know, around 4:30 p.m. The man was asking him for water, cigarettes and dollars.

The man did not give him any cigarettes or dollars, but he did go into his residence to get water. The stranger was not invited in, but entered the residence, saw a jar with money in it and took what the complainant said was about $30. The intruder reportedly said, “If you tell the police, I will kill you.”

About 9:30 the same night, Ms. Fargin continued, the complainant was home with his wife and a male friend, watching television. There was a knock on the door. When he went to open it, he saw the same man from the incident. That man pushed the door open and pushed the occupant backwards. Then, when the stranger saw more people inside, he turned and left. He was chased by the occupant and friend and a struggle ensued. They were able to subdue him and call police. When officers arrived, the person being held was Whittaker.

One of the pursuers sustained a bite mark on his right thigh; the other had a scraped knee. Ms. Fargin said Whittaker told officers he regarded the taking of the money as theft – not burglary – and gave an explanation as to the circumstances in which he said he was invited inside. [Burglary involves entry as a trespasser.] Whittaker further explained that he felt bad about taking what he said was $10. He had later obtained $10 and went to the residence to give the money back. However, he didn’t get a chance to do so because the occupant and his friend rushed him and he was afraid they were going to kill him.

The Crown objected to bail, partly on the basis that he had stolen the money to support his drug habit. He had told officers that he usually consumed about 10 “rocks” a day, which would cost him around $100, Ms. Fargin advised the court.

The defendant had tested negative for cocaine consumption the day before coming to court and he wanted bail so that he could go back to his job, Mr. Furniss explained. Whittaker had been laid off for two weeks, but was scheduled to have gone back to work that week. With income from his job there would be no need to offend, he told the court.

Whittaker maintained he had been invited into the premises, Mr. Furniss said. He had gone back to pay the $10. When police took him into custody, he had just $3 in his possession. Whittaker did not know where the rest of the money had gone, but it was apparently lost in the scuffle.

The attorney pointed out that when Whitaker was working he was not involved in offending behavior.

The magistrate said he was considering the allegations in deciding against bail. On Whittaker’s own admissions, there was at least an offense of theft. The magistrate also expressed concerned about the danger of continuing the offense of cocaine consumption. He remanded Whittaker in custody and adjourned the case until Tuesday, Feb. 9.