A man who pleaded guilty to burglary in Summary Court has been sent to Grand Court for sentencing because a magistrate’s sentencing power is limited to four years for this offense.
Donald Arlington Miller, formerly known as Donald Arlington Hall, pleaded guilty last month to the burglary of a guest suite at Morritt’s Tortuga Resort in East End on July 4. He also admitted consumption and possession of ganja that night and criminal trespass at the resort the night before.
When entering his pleas, Mr. Miller advised that he wished to apply to be admitted to the Drug Rehabilitation Court. He was remanded in custody and subsequently attended drug court sessions.
On Friday, defense attorney Prathna Bodden told Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop that the drug court team had determined that Mr. Miller was ineligible. Presiding Magistrate Valdis Foldats said he was sending Mr. Miller to Grand Court because of his previous convictions and the nature of the latest offense.
The Criminal Procedure Code provides that, except for specific offenses such as drugs or firearms, the Summary Court magistrate may impose a sentence of up to four years. If the magistrate is of the opinion that the offense is so serious that greater punishment should be inflicted, the magistrate may commit the offender to the Grand Court for sentence.
Mr. Miller, 49, admitted to entering a guest suite as a trespasser at night with intent to steal. The guests were present at the time. The male occupant of the suite heard a noise in the kitchen area and when he went out from the bedroom, he became aware of a person in the premises. That person ran and the guest’s wife phoned the night manager. A security guard checked the area and found Mr. Miller hiding nearby with items he had removed from their suite.
Because Mr. Miller had opted for the drug court initially, no social inquiry report had been requested at the Summary Court level. The judge agreed to order one at this stage and sentencing was set for Wednesday, Sept. 26. The defendant remained in custody.