Trespasser in court for trespassing again

‘I have to protect the public,’ magistrate says

A man sentenced in January to eight and a half months in prison was back in court again on Friday for the same offense – criminal trespass.

Thadeus (Thad) Kaemeron Bodden, 41, pleaded guilty to entering a George Town premises on Wednesday, March 14, without lawful business thereon. This time he was sentenced to a prison term of two months.

Magistrate Valdis Foldats noted that he had previously sentenced the defendant to eight and a half months for similar trespass charges, plus a theft from a parked car.

“The message isn’t getting through,” he told Mr. Bodden. “You can’t enter someone else’s property without their permission.”

He noted that the maximum sentence prescribed by law for criminal trespass is one-year imprisonment. He said he could have given a sentence of community service if this were a first offense, but Mr. Bodden’s criminal record of 60 previous convictions brought it over the custody threshold.

Mr. Bodden asked why he could not get community service, since he had never had that type of sentence before.

The magistrate replied, “I have to protect the public.”

Mr. Bodden explained that he had been released from prison in January after his Jan. 9 sentence because of credit for time he had spent in custody before he was sentenced.

He also told the court that the man who had been murdered last week [Dougmore Wright] was his friend and he was upset. “I’m hurting inside. I’m going through a rough time. It’s very stressful for me,” he told the court.

Defense attorney John Furniss explained that Mr. Bodden had been drinking heavily and then, while riding his bicycle home, he had stomach pains. He went to the premises and the porch door was open. He went in and sat in a deck chair and fell asleep on the porch.

“There was no interference with the house itself,” Mr. Furniss emphasized. “He could have gone in, but he did not.… He accepts he did not have permission to remain on the property.” A later check of the premises showed that “all appeared to be in order.”

The defendant added, “I did not go there to do anything criminal.”

The magistrate agreed that he was not charged with theft or burglary, but he was “a serial trespasser” who had “nothing but disrespect for other people’s property.”

Crown counsel Gavin Dixon said Mr. Bodden was found asleep on the porch by the property manager at 1 p.m. Police were called and he was arrested.

Mr. Furniss advised that the defendant had been working part time, but would be doing construction work full time for his father’s company in the near future.

The magistrate said this trespass was less serious than Mr. Bodden’s previous offenses and three months was the appropriate sentence. With one-third credit for the early guilty plea, the time in custody was reduced to two months.