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Magistrate tells ‘sorry’ thief to seek forgiveness in jail

Magistrate tells ‘sorry’ thief to seek forgiveness in jail

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Repentance was not a saviour for an Mt Grenan resident, who, in the words of magistrate Bertie Pompey, committed sacrilege against the Streams of Power Church.

Sydney McDowall appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court this Tuesday, pleading guilty to the offence of theft of items, including a laptop, guitar and microphone from the Streams of Power Church at Sans Souci between June 26 and 29 this year. The items were valued at US$1,608.

The police statement read that upon the realization that the window was forced open and items were missing from the church, the matter was reported to the Colonarie police.

The defendant came into the scope of the investigations and is said to have given a detailed statement, admitting to the offence, including how it was carried out and how he entered the church. A laptop was retrieved from McDowall and shown to the complainant in the matter, who identified it as the stolen property. McDowall was then charged with burglary, the prosecutor informing magistrate Bertie Pompey that the defendant had another offence of a similar nature on his record.

All McDowall had to say at first was “I’m sorry”, when Pompey asked him for the first time if he had anything to say, to which the magistrate responded, “Sorry because you’re caught.”

McDowall then pleaded with him saying, “You’ll never see me again.”

Pompey then said that it was a very serious matter and “what you call sacrilege,” further commenting, “churches have to be secure like prison now

because of people like you,” as opposed to before when they would be left open.

After the magistrate made this point, the defendant chose to clarify that he didn’t go inside the church via the window and that the door was open, the lights were on and no one was inside. In response, Pompey said, “People leave their church open so people could go inside and pray, and you go in there and steal.”

He then handed down a 10-month prison sentence, telling McDowall to “go in there and ask for forgiveness.” He further issued an order that the items be restored to the church.(KR)

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