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Magistrate urges accused to thank his lawyer

Magistrate urges accused to thank his lawyer

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In a dramatic turn of events in the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Friday, February 4 , 23-year-old Michel Seaton of Murray’s Village walked away from the court from a custodial sentence, after spending two months on remand.{{more}}

Seaton was answering charges for burglary, after a number of items, including an Acer computer, went missing from the Dorsetshire Hill Government School on Tuesday, November 30, 2010.

Evidence before the court is that Seaton was found in possession of the computer while travelling in a passenger van into Kingstown. The school’s Head Teacher, Olive Allen, said on the morning of Tuesday, November 30, 2010, she went to the school and found the computer and other items missing.

During cross-examination from the defendant’s lawyer Carlos James, on Tuesday, February 1, Allen disclosed to the court that her observation was that it did not appear as if the school was broken into.

When the case continued last Friday the prosecution withdrew the charges for burglary and brought fresh charges for unlawful possession against Seaton.

In mitigating for Seaton, James told Magistrate Donald Browne that the court should be mindful of Seaton’s age and the fact that the computer had been recovered. He stated that there was no damage to the property and that while Seaton had antecedents, the offences were not similar and his last time before the court was three years ago.

James also asked the magistrate to take into account Seaton’s time spent on remand.

Browne imposed a bond on the young man in the sum of six months, or $1,500 if he failed to keep the bond. Before sending the Murray’s Village man home the magistrate told Seaton: “You better thank your lawyer, or you would be going to prison on the burglary charge.”

Seaton said he was “grateful” to his attorney for working on his behalf.

“I was not guilty of the burglary offence. I told him I wanted to get out of prison and I can’t thank him enough,” the Murray’s Village man said.