PHILIPSBURG--A homeless and jobless man was found guilty of fencing a stolen car and of theft of two air-conditioning (AC) units during Thursday’s criminal sitting in the Court of First Instance.
Geoffrey Romeo Orlando Brooks (26), who does not have a permanent residence, was sentenced for both crimes, which he committed on February 7.
The defendant was caught with two AC units in his car on February 7. He told the police he thought that these were “garbage,” but the prosecutor did not lend much credibility to this statement.
He had returned the stolen items to the rightful owner, but the prosecutor still considered theft proven. “He should not have taken these items,” the prosecutor said Thursday.
For the two crimes – theft of the air-conditioning units and fencing a stolen car – the prosecutor demanded eight weeks, plus the execution of a nine-day sentence in connection with a previous crime.
The car in which Brooks was driving had been stolen in December 2019 and the owner’s valid insurance documents were still in the vehicle when Brooks was held by the police. He said he had rented the car for two weeks from a friend, for US $300 but could not provide a rental agreement.
Brooks committed these two crimes while he was on probation for a previous crime, for which he had received a conditional sentence of nine days. He spent 10 days in pre-trial detention.
“My client is in a struggle to survive,” said attorney-at-law Sjamira Roseburg. She told the judge that being in prison might provide him with food and shelter, but she doubted whether locking him up would be the best idea.
“He is a drug addict, not a revolving-door criminal,” the lawyer said in pleading for a second chance for her client with Parole Board supervision. Roseburg also pleaded with the court to decline the execution of the conditional sentence.
The judge found both crimes proven in what he described as a “hopeless case.” As locking up the defendant would cost the community more than it would yield in results, the judge imposed a conditional sentence of six weeks, on one year’s probation, and implementation of the previous nine-day sentence.