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12 months for loitering


RACHELLE AGARD, [email protected]

12 months for loitering

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His excuse for being on Dover Road would have worked if Thomas Andrew Bailey had had the items to back it up.

But when police checked to see if he was actually washing a vehicle at 2:30 a.m., that vehicle was dry and there was not a bucket or water in sight.

As a result, the loiterer, who admitted he was only released from prison last month, was sent back there for 12 months when he appeared in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The 38-year-old, of no fixed place of abode, had dithered about whether or not he was guilty of loitering on Dover, Christ Church, without being able to give a satisfactory excuse on May 20.

“What is your plea, guilty or not guilty?” Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant asked him after she had read the charge to him.

“I was out at a party,” Bailey replied.

The magistrate then asked him again.

“I was in the area,” he replied.

 

Guilty plea

 

It was when he was asked the question a third time that he responded: “I was guilty of being in the area. I am guilty. The police officer said I was loitering but before I could pick up and leave, they took me into custody.”

Bailey explained he was only having a drink and wanted to “free up myself” after being released from prison early last month.

But he stressed: “That was a public area. Everybody was walking about having a drink. If you want me to avoid the area for the rest of the year, that’s fine.”

In seeking to explain the comments police said he made to them, Bailey said it had just rained while he was in the taxi stand so “I was wiping off a van with a chamois, earning little money”.

Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant, however, pointed out that Bailey had numerous previous convictions for similar offences. As she read his conviction card, she noted he had been sentenced to nine months for his last offence and six months for another before that one.

She then sentenced him to 12 months in jail.

“I don’t understand that, ma’am,” Bailey said after he had given the magistrate a hard stare. He was then hustled off to the cells to await transport to HMP Dodds.

Prosecutor Sergeant Cameron Gibbons had said lawmen were patrolling along Dover when they saw Bailey standing behind a van.

They circled back and observed him crouching in the area of the van’s tray.

They asked him to account for being in the area and Bailey told them he was washing the van.

However, when police checked the vehicle, it was dry and Bailey did not have “a bucket, a hose, water” to back up his statement. (RA)

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