‘Sorry’ thief gets jailed

Only time will tell if Jamal Pelle, who has made stealing a career, has changed his ways as he claimed when he pleaded guilty, said sorry and was sentenced to four years in jail for larceny.

The 35-year-old man told Justice Keith Thom that he found God when his case was recently called for sentencing for stealing more than $30,000 worth of clothing, jewellery and household items from the home of another judge in Antigua.

He went even further, reading an apology letter in the court, stating how very remorseful he was for taking the things.

Pelle, who was 34 at the time of the incident, has 29 criminal convictions and he promised that the offence for which he has been jailed, will be his last.

The evidence presented at the hearing by prosecutor Shannon Jones-Gittens, was that some time early last year, Pelle was hired to clean a house in Hodges Bay where High Court Justice Rosalyn Wilkinson was storing some of her belongings as she transitioned from Grenada to Antigua to serve as a judge here.

It was the landlord who sought Pelle’s services prior to the judge moving in, and when her belongings arrived, they were taken to the house which was secured with burglar bars and grill, among other security systems.

When the judge later went to unpack the items, she realised some of them were missing, to include household materials, clothing and jewellery.

The matter was reported to the police immediately, on February 13, 2017, and investigations quickly pointed to Pelle.

Investigations revealed Pelle had rented a vehicle for two days in January last year but had not returned it up to the day he was caught selling some of the judge’s belongings from the trunk of the said vehicle on February 20, 2017.

While he stole $32,735 worth in items, the police only recovered $11,315 worth. These were returned to the judge.

He admitted to breaking into the house, using a damaged door. The maximum sentence Pelle could have been given for the offence of larceny in a dwelling house is seven years. (Martina Johnson)