Dekembe Parsons, a 22-year-oldVirgin Islander residing at Harrigans Estate, was sentenced on Tuesday to spend two months in prison for breach of curfew, which he will serve while awaiting trial for a separate charge of burgling Sunshine Grocery Store in Road Town, Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin ruled Monday during a virtual sitting of Magistrates’ Court.
Mr. Parsons pleaded guilty to the first charge, explaining that he broke the curfew to visit a woman who lives near the grocery, and to visit his mother, who works at Dr. Orlando Smith Hospital.
For the charge of breach of curfew, Ms. Benjamin sentenced Mr. Parsons to two months in prison, as opposed to the maximum of three, in light of his guilty plea, she said.
Besides his breach of curfew, Mr. Parsons is also charged with stealing about $100 worth of groceries from Sunshine Grocery Store on Main Street on March 30, but he pleaded not guilty to that crime.
Police said another man, Nikolai Brathwaite, also has been charged in relation to the burglary, but Mr. Brathwaite did not appear in court alongside Mr. Parsons on Monday.
While laying out the allegations, Crown Counsel O’Neal Simpson said Mr. Parsons was interviewed under caution on April 16, after police lifted fingerprints from a window at the store, conducted interviews, and reviewed CCTV footage of the surrounding area on the day of the crime.
During that interview, Mr. Parsons denied all allegations against him, just as he did during another interview later that day, when police informed him that his fingerprints matched those found at the grocery store, the prosecutor said.
In court, Mr. Simpson opposed a bail offer for Mr. Parsons, warning that he might interfere with the investigation and commit similar offences in the future.
Ms. Benjamin extended the accused an opportunity to convince her to offer him bail.
In response, Mr. Parsons said that the day of the alleged burglary he had gone to visit a woman who lived in the vicinity of the market.
“Is there anything else you wish to say about whether or not I should grant you bail?” Ms. Benjamin said.
“No ma’am,” Mr. Parsons replied.
However, partly because she considered the stolen food to be of a low value, Ms. Benjamin decided to offer bail of $25,000 with a signed surety.
Mr. Parsons, however, will be able to accept the offer only after serving his prison sentence for breach of curfew.
As part of the bail conditions, he would have to surrender his travel documents and be under curfew from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m., Ms. Benjamin ruled.