By Latrishka Thomas
The first ever judge-only trial in Antigua and Barbuda officially ended on Wednesday, after the defence concluded its closing arguments.
Attorney Wendel Robinson represented the accused, Rohan Jarvis, who was charged with stealing EC$80,000 in “box money”.
During the trial which began on June 9, several witnesses gave sworn testimony, and the defendant’s fate rests solely in the hands of High Court Justice Ann-Marie Smith.
Jarvis is believed to have conspired with another man to steal the money from a retired government employee who held a “box” — also called a sou-sou, sub, or savings — for residents in Bolans.
The incident reportedly occurred on August 22 2018.
On the first day of the historic proceedings, witness testimonies suggest that the man and his friend, Leon George, concocted a plan to break into the home of Gretlin Thomas and stole the money she had set aside for three boxes that she conducted concurrently.
The court heard that Thomas was holding monies on behalf of almost 200 people – a service she had been providing for nearly 20 years.
The monies were being stored in two cash pans which she realised were missing when she returned home on the day of the incident.
Later that same night, police investigators found two cash pans that Thomas said belonged to her. However, they were damaged and did not contain any money. The woman also claimed that her husband found loose change around the yard.
The matter was adjourned until June 30 at which time Justice Smith will make her decision known.