A man accused of burglarizing a private residence twice in two days has been granted $60,000 bail after successfully lobbying for his release in the Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Charged with two counts of burglary is Sidney Varlack Malone of Fat Hog’s Bay, Tortola.
He pleaded not guilty to when he appeared before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo.
The court heard that on November 13 and 14 this year, the victim of the alleged burglary went to bed after securing his three-level villa in Kingston on Tortola for the night.
When the said burglary victim checked the surveillance footage a day after the second break-in, he discovered that an intruder had entered his home while he was asleep.
During the two occasions, the intruder was seen looking around the house. However, nothing was stolen.
A report was made to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) who launched an investigation into the matter.
Caught on camera
Using the surveillance footage, the RVIPF was able to identify Malone as the suspected culprit, the court heard.
It is alleged that police later accosted the accused man who was reportedly dressed in similar clothing as that of the burglar captured on surveillance cameras.
The court further heard that when the allegations were put to him, he said: “What burglary? You see me burglarize any place, me son?”
Malone was later interviewed under caution but he furthered denied the allegations. He was then charged.
Crown objects to bail
In court, the Crown objected to bail arguing that the accused man was previously convicted of a similar offence and is therefore likely to re-offend if granted bail.
However, the unrepresented Malone counter-argued that there was no clear identification of the culprit in the surveillance footage because there was a shirt covering the burglar’s face.
“They are just trying to post it on me … this is wrong. Only a fair chance I am asking for. You are innocent until proven guilty,” Malone told the court.
After weighing both sides, the magistrate said the accused man is not currently on bail for any other offences. She further reasoned that the Crown did not present sufficient proof that Malone is likely to re-offend if granted bail.
And while pointing to the fact that the Crown was also unable to confirm whether the culprit’s facial features were visible in the surveillance footage, Magistrate DaBreo said: “I am not convinced that bail should be denied to him.”
Though making bail, Malone was placed on a daily curfew which will run between 8 pm to 6 am.
The unrepresented man is scheduled to return to court on December 12.
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