A 21-year-old Virgin Gorda man who burgled his cousin’s residence because he reportedly was desperate for food and water has been granted $30,000 signed bail.
Jelani Marquis pleaded guilty to burglary and two counts of theft when he appeared before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo.
He reportedly stole $112 worth of items from his cousin.
Marquis told the court that he broke into his family member’s house after she booted him from her Virgin Gorda residence.
“She (my cousin) have me on the street begging like a vagrant, and I don’t consider myself a vagrant,” Marquis explained to the court.
Reports from the prosecution are that, on January 13 this year, the cousin went to her Virgin Gorda residence about 3pm and noticed that her glass louvers were missing from the kitchen window.
She noticed that two cases of water, several food items, and a garden hose were also missing.
It is reported that the gardener who works at the residence had seen Marquis leaving the home.
When the gardener confronted him, Marquis said he lived there.
The incident was reported to the police. The offender confessed to the crime during a police interview.
Police later recovered the stolen items in nearby bushes, the court heard.
In court, Marquis explained that he was booted from his cousin’s residence as a result of a fall-out. He stated that, as a result, he was living in bushes near the said residence.
Marquis explained further that he took his cousin’s hose so he could connect it to a pipe for bathing purposes.
After listening to the explanation, Magistrate Baptiste-DaBreo told the offender she would give him time to secure a job.
“I am going to give you some time to get yourself together because, if I give you a fine, you cannot pay it… I don’t think your circumstances warrant imprisonment,” she said.
“Its very sad to me that you are 21 and you almost left yourself in a state of vagrancy.”
Marquis is scheduled to return to court on March 23.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated case of theft in October last year, Marquis also allegedly stole two sandwiches from Bucks Food Market on Virgin Gorda.
Copyright 2019 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.