Guilty verdict delivered in first judge-only trial

High Court Justice Ann-Marie Smith (file photo)
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By Kadeem Joseph

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Antigua and Barbuda’s first judge-only trial has resulted in the man accused of stealing thousands of dollars of “box money” being found guilty.

The accused, Rohan Jarvis, is said to have conspired with another man to steal EC $80,000 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.

The trial officially ended on June 16, after the defence concluded its closing arguments, leaving High Court Justice Ann-Marie Smith with the final say in the matter.

Attorney Wendel Robinson represented the accused.

During the trial which began on June 9, witness testimonies suggested 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 at the same time.

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.

Now that Justice Smith has announced her decision, Jarvis’ sentencing has been sent for July 29.

Jarvis was represented by Attorney Wendel Robinson, while Crown Counsel Shannon Jones-Gittens prosecuted the landmark case.

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