Wednesday 26 September, 2018

George Town churchgoer gets 5 months after caught with stolen goods

A man, who was described in court as a ‘regular attendee’ at a George Town church, was sentenced to serve five months in jail, after he was found in possession of stolen goods.

The court heard that 47-year-old Jose Gonzalez Almonte was found in possession of a collection of stolen goods; goods which were derived from incidents of theft dating back to late 2016.

In one incident, which occurred on October 26, 2016, a vehicle was broken into.

The owner of the vehicle complained that an expensive drill and charger were taken during the incident.

After obtaining a search warrant for Almonte’s home, the stolen drill was recovered at the property.

In a second May 2017 incident, a watch was stolen from a residence in Bodden Town.

The Bodden Town resident said that an Invicta watch worth $1800 USD had been taken.

Following a search of Almonte’s home, the watch was recovered and positively identified by the resident.

In a third incident, in June 2017, a home was broken into and a laptop stolen.

The police using a laptop tracking device, traced the laptop to Almonte’s home, where other stolen items were recovered.

Almonte, who had pled guilty at an earlier hearing, and had been in custody told the court that he had purchased the goods.

Defense Attorney, Jonathon Hughes argued that his client had purchased the goods for his own use and never intended on selling them.

The court further hear that, Almonte was offered a bargain on the items; a bargain he says he later regretted noting that he realized late that the deal was ‘too good to be true’.

According to Almonte, he realized that he had made a mistake, and feels bad because his integrity has been damaged in the process.

He asked that he be forgiven for his ‘grave errors of judgement’.

Almonte’s social inquiry seemed to support his defense, as it revealed that Almonte appeared to be an upstanding individual,  who was a hard worker and regular churchgoer.

In the enquiry it was revealed that Almonte, a Dominican Republic native, was a hard working construction industry professional, having worked in the industrysince his arrival in Cayman.

He was further revealed to be a highly regarded employee; with Almonte’s manager describing him as an ‘outstanding person’ and one of the ‘most trustworthy’ persons he had ever met.

Magistrate Donalds noted that taking into consideration Almonte’s guilty plea, and the Social Enquiry Report, Almonte would receive a custodial sentence.

For the first count Donald’s imposed a four month custodial sentence, for the second count she imposed a second four month custodial sentence and a one month custodial sentence for the third count ; which are all to run concurrently.

Almonte has already served almost 4 months which would be deducted from his overall time.