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Magistrate unmoved by guilty man’s pleas


Malcolm Pollin did not want to go back to prison. His numerous pleas, however, did not stop Chief Magistrate Sonya Young from sentencing him to five months in jail.{{more}}

Pollin, a resident of Clifton, Union Island, appeared at the Serious Offences Court on Thursday, September 17, 2009. He was charged with handling stolen goods worth $772.06 and US$30 cash, the property of Junior Alexander of Clifton, Union Island.

Pollin had appeared at the court earlier in the week and was charged with stealing the goods and the US dollars. He pleaded not guilty and the charge was changed when he reappeared in court on Thursday. Pollin pleaded guilty to the handling of the stolen goods.

The court heard that police found the stolen goods which included bottles of liquor, food items, candy bars and cakes of soap while executing a search on Pollin’s home. When questioned by police as to how he obtained the goods Pollin said that a man who he called “Jomo” left the bag at his home.

Magistrate Young reading from a list of Pollin’s convictions from 1997 to 2008 called out offences such as assault, wounding, possession of an offensive weapon, escaping lawful custody, criminal trespassing and burglary. In a heightened voice Young commented “Well you have done everything!”

Young, considering his past convictions, decided to sentence Pollin to time in prison. This is when Pollin began pleading for his freedom. “Please, your worship I have three children, my worship.”

“Were you thinking of your children when you were keeping stolen goods in your home?” Young replied, adding that Pollin should have taken the goods to the police. Pollin had explained to the police that he only realized the goods were stolen after he learnt that Junior Alexander’s shop had been broken into.

Pollin continued, imploring Young to consider his children, telling her that he does not like prison and he is trying to change. Pollin added that he has a “bad” leg, lifting up his pants leg to show Young.

Young maintained her decision saying that her conscience cannot allow her to let Pollin go free, especially with a record like his. A restitution order was also given on the goods and the cash.