By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A 34-year-old man who was accused of stealing his cousin’s phone was ordered to compensate him for the device.
James Markland was accused of stealing Barry Thompson’s Samsung cellphone on September 29.
He pleaded guilty to one count of stealing from a person during his hearing before Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis on Friday.
The prosecution said around 12.20pm that day, Mr Thompson was at work when Markland came to the establishment to do work for their boss. While he was there, Markland asked the complainant to use his phone so he could call their boss. The court heard Mr Thompson then dialed the number for the defendant and handed him his phone. A short time later, he observed Markland heading to the front door while speaking with their boss on the phone. Mr Thompson continued to do his work until he heard the door slam. At that point, he went outside where he saw the defendant running down the street with his cellphone. According to the prosecution, Mr Thompson never gave Markland permission to take his phone. The court was also told his device was never returned to him.
During the hearing, Markland told the magistrate he was outside using Mr Thompson’s phone when the complainant came outside, grabbed his hand and asked him where he was going. He claimed this caused the phone to “fly out of his hand” and shatter on the floor. Markland added he had offered to buy Mr Thompson another phone, but the complainant opted to press charges instead.
In response, Magistrate Rolle-Davis noted the defendant owned up to damaging the phone and accepted his guilty plea. He subsequently ordered the defendant to pay Mr Thompson $190 for the Samsung device and warned him if he failed to do so, he could risk spending three months in jail.