No bail for man guilty of theft at PMB mall

2013-03-20 00:00

A 43-YEAR-OLD man from Gauteng, Jerome Kelly, was found guilty yesterday of stealing goods from a vehicle at Liberty Midlands Mall in February 2007, and of trying to bribe a policeman to make the case “go away”.

Pietermaritzburg magistrate Celumusa Zungu refused to extend Kelly’s R5 000 bail pending sentencing on April 3, despite a plea by his attorney, Abdul Karrim.

Zungu agreed with prosecutor Sharleen Haggard, who said Kelly had failed to attend court on all previous occasions when he was required to do so.

Haggard urged the court to jail Kelly for his crimes, which she described as “abhorrent”.

The court found that Kelly paid police officer Alistair Farrington R1 900 in the court cells in June 2008 in a bid to persuade him to withdraw the theft 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 the mall’s CCTV footage and he and his accomplices were stopped by security guards.

Haggard said both offences were serious and prevalent, and the crime of corruption was aimed at derailing the justice system.

Luckily there were dedicated policemen, like Farrington, who resisted the temptation to make easy money, she said.

Karrim asked the court to take into account the fact that Kelly had bettered himself and had a job as a safety officer at a power station in Gauteng; if he is sent to jail his family would suffer.

The defence was also granted leave to obtain a report by a probation officer before sentence.

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