Mall car park thief avoids jail

2013-04-08 00:00

A GAUTENG man, Jerome Kelly (43), was sentenced to suspended jail terms and a fine on Friday for stealing goods from a car at Liberty Midlands Mall in February 2007 and of trying to bribe a police officer to make the case “disappear”.

Magistrate Celemusa Zungu sentenced Kelly to a fine of R1 500 (or two years’ imprisonment) plus a 12-month suspended sentence for theft from the motor vehicle; and to a wholly suspended sentence of three years’ imprisonment on a charge of corruption for trying to bribe local policeman Alistair Farrington to help him escape the charge.

Zungu took into account that Kelly was a first offender and that he is gainfully employed as a safety officer at a power station in Gauteng.

The court found that Kelly had given Farrington R1 900 in the court cells in June 2008 to persuade him to withdraw the theft out of a motor vehicle charge.

Kelly was among a small group who broke into cars in the mall parking lot on February 20, 2007. He stole a digital camera and sound equipment from a vehicle.

The incident was captured on CCTV footage at the mall and he and his accomplices were stopped by security guards.

Zungu said on Friday that an aggravating feature of the case was that Kelly planned both offences.

She said the CCTV footage showed him walking around the mall parking area “peeping” into the window of a car before deciding to steal from it car. He then fetched his own vehicle and returned with it before committing the crime.

Zungu said corruption was a serious offence that strikes at the heart of the administration of justice and in doing so, frustrates the victims of crimes.

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