By Latrishka Thomas
A Bolans man who stole thousands of dollars’ worth of items from the National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) – including some intended for victims of Hurricane Irma – has been fined $10,000.
Everton Waldron was found guilty in March of larceny of goods valued at more than $20,000 from the American Road premises in the aftermath of the September 2017 disaster.
On January 5 2018 a report was made about missing items from the NODS warehouse, of which Waldron and All Saints resident Dion Browne were in charge.
Waldron was the organisation’s driver who was given responsibility to assist with the warehouse, while Browne was the warehouse manager.
The police were contacted about the theft and later executed a search warrant on both of their properties, uncovering a lot of items.
Waldron’s property, in particular, contained 100-pound bags of flour, sugar, diapers, baby wipes, tactical boots, sealed US Aid and China Aid boxes, shovels, mattocks, fans and a tent, which were collectively valued at $20,205.79.
The Bolans man’s trial started in March 2020 with a testimony from NODS Director Philmore Mullin who identified the items from photographs. He said they had been donated from various agencies.
Defence lawyer Lawrence Daniel argued that there were no stamps on the items proving they were from NODS.
Waldron also took to the stand, testifying that his brother sent some of the items, such as Colgate and a mattock, but then said that several of the items were given to him by Mullin.
But, in his police statement, he said he had bought the items to sell at a market area in St John’s known informally as ‘Ben Dung’.
As Prosecutor Curtis Cornelius cross-examined the witness on the conflicting statements, Waldron became emotional on the stand.
But that did not prevent a 12-person jury from deciding unanimously that Waldron was guilty of larceny.
Last Friday, Justice Ann-Marie Smith ordered him to pay $3,000 by the end of this month or spend six months in jail. He is expected to pay the other $7,000 by the end of August or face 12 months behind bars.
Waldron’s accomplice, Browne, was previously sentenced in the Magistrate’s Court after being found guilty of stealing $3,105.20 worth of food and household items belonging to NODS.