A parish judge on Tuesday, ordered two defendants accused of robbing a church of items valued at $250,000, to attend weekly service on Saturdays.
Presiding judge at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, Carlo Mason made the decision after he learnt that on September 22, the complainant, who happens to be a pastor at a Seventh-day Church of God in the Corporate Area, locked up the compound about 2:40 pm. However, he was altered by King Alarm sometime after 3:00 am that there was a break-in at the church.
Judge Mason was told that items such as fans and other church equipment were allegedly taken by Linnel Atkinson and Kedeesha Swaby. However, while Swaby was quickly apprehended by police officers, Atkinson managed to escape the scene. But he was captured a few days later.
They were both charged with sacrilege.
“I remember when even badman would turn down their music when they drive pass a church and now we hearing about a church break-in,” Judge Mason said.
When the judge heard that Atkinson is a father of seven, he asked, “you couldn’t bring your children to church instead of what you did?”
After a legal aid assignment was granted for both accused persons, bail was offered to Atkinson in the sum of $150,000 with one to two sureties. He was ordered to report to the nearest police station on Mondays and Fridays between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Since Swaby was out on $30,00 station bail, the same reporting condition was added to her bail. In addition to that a fingerprint order was made for both defendants, and they were ordered to attend the church every Saturday at 10:30 am.
“And you are to stay for the whole service,” Judge Mason stressed.
Turning to Swaby he added, ” Don’t worry Miss Swaby, they won’t malice you, I’m sure they will greet you with a warm Christian embrace.”
Atkinson and Swaby are to return to court on January 4, 2024. The pastor was bound over by the court to provide an update on their attendance at church.
Additionally, disclosure is to be provided to their attorney on or before November 1.
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