After burglarizing the home of Colonarie resident Nadia Lawrence on Christmas Day, Shaffique Williams will now have to make prison his home for the New Year.
Williams, a resident of Sandy Bay, was sentenced to nine months in prison on Monday for entering Lawrence’s home on December 25, 2020, and stealing a Samsung cellular phone valued at $1,084.
Williams, who was unrepresented, had pleaded guilty when he appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday. He indicated that he was a minibus conductor.
Before imposing the penalty, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett informed Williams that he would have to pay the Court $1,500 forthwith or go to prison for six months for breaching a one-year bond, imposed previously by the Serious Offences Court, for a similar offence.
Burnett declared that the bond had to be activated because he committed a recent burglary while that bond was still in effect.
After imposing the nine-month sentence for the recent offence, Burnett told the defendant that both sentences will run consecutively if the bond money was not paid.
In relation to the recent burglary, Prosecutor Curlene Samuel had told the Court earlier that around 11:40pm on Christmas Day, Lawrence retired to bed, leaving her bedroom window open, and the phone at her bedhead. When she woke the following morning, she discovered that the phone was missing.
Lawrence inquired of others in the house if they had seen the phone, and they said no.
Lawrence, however, suspected Williams whom she knew. She went to work and during the course of the day she saw Williams, but he moved off the scene quickly when he recognized the woman’s presence.
Lawrence made a report to the police, and Williams was arrested.
When cautioned and questioned, he admitted that he went to the woman’s home, pushed his hand through the open window and took the phone. He then took it to someone in Georgetown to have it swiped.
The phone was recovered, but not in working condition.
“It is not even six months and you are back,” the Senior Magistrate told the defendant who made no reply.
“The lady was in her house. The window was opened, and you went to her house, stole her phone, and took it to the swiped. That’s what you all do. You want to make sure that it is not traced,” Burnett contended.
“I am of the view that to change you, I have to send you to a place to reflect.
“The phone was recovered, but not working. That’s aggravating as well,” he added.
Two lawyers at the Bar Table, when asked by the Magistrate for an input, showed no support for the burglar.
Attorney Michael Wyllie told the Court that people now are afraid to plant or rear animals because of thieves.
He said that he too reared livestock and suffered at the hands of thieves.
Attorney Paula David said, “I can’t count the times my house and office was burglarized. I am not begging for any burglars.”