General — 21 November 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
8 years behind bars for repeat offender

BELIZE CITY–A Belize City man who has two previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty managed to pick up a third, when he was convicted of burglary at the conclusion of his trial before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, this morning.

Roger Bradley, a driver/sideman who has one previous conviction for burglary and one for theft, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The 34-year-old Bradley was convicted of a brazen daylight burglary of a home in which a babysitter was present.

According to court testimonies, shortly after 9:00 a.m. on March 25, 2014, Bradley entered the home of Luna Sosa, located at 87 Freetown Road, and attempted to steal two Leap Frog games.

When Bradley entered the home, he was not aware that Mara Williams, the babysitter, was inside the house.

Williams told the court that she was startled by a noise coming from somewhere inside the house. And when she went to investigate the source of the noise she came face to face with Bradley inside the house.

Williams told the court in her testimony that she was not afraid of the man, whom she identified as Bradley, who was about to make off with the pair of children’s games. She demonstrated her lack of fear by setting chase after him as he ran out of the house, still clutching the two games that he had placed inside a bag.

Williams caught up with him on Freetown Road, at Cinderella Plaza, where a friend of hers who was passing by grabbed the bag from Bradley and handed it over to her.

Some neighbors who were alerted to what was happening decided to teach Bradley a lesson. They attacked and eventually subdued him, but not before the angry neighbors, who numbered as many as 14, held down Bradley and pummeled him until police arrived on the scene.

PC Jerome Middleton, who responded to the report of a burglary in progress, arrived on the scene, where Bradley was being held by civilians.

PC Middleton testified that when he arrived at the scene at around 10:00 that morning, Williams, the babysitter, pointed out Bradley and she also handed over a bag to him which contained the two stolen games.

Bradley, who was unrepresented by an attorney, told the court in a sworn testimony in his defense, that he never entered the home and that Williams fabricated the story against him.

He told the court that he was on Freetown Road, when a little boy in the area gave him the two games. He said that the lady (the babysitter) then approached him and began to curse at him; then minutes later, two men came running down the street towards him with machetes. Bradley testified that he feared for his life and ran – but did not get too far, because as many as 14 people crowded him and beat him up.

Notwithstanding Bradley’s fanciful defense, the court found him guilty of the charge of burglary.

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