Judge: Burglary conviction overturned magistrate did not take alcohol into account
A man who entered the wrong house while drunk has had his burglary conviction overturned by the Supreme Court.
Lawyer Kamal Worrell said his client, guest worker Jasvin Jhuboo, was “ecstatic” in the wake of the ruling by Chief Justice Ian Kawaley.
With his job terminated, his travel documents confiscated, and permission to seek other work denied after his arrest in October, Mr Jhuboo had “a trying time” compounded by his January 14 conviction in Magistrates’ Court for burglary.
He was able to challenge it before his sentencing, and did not serve jail time.
According to his lawyer, the former chef had returned from a night on the town to his Smith’s neighbourhood early on October 4 last year, and wandered into the wrong home.
“Intoxication is not a defence, but it’s a provision which directs the court,” Mr Worrell explained.
He added: “Nothing was taken. There was no violence, no forced entry.
“He wasn’t dressed up — he had on the same clothes that he went out in. He was in clear view and never tried to hide his face.”
The defendant had admitted being intoxicated, and Mr Worrell said he found it strange that Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo had cited Section 43 of the Criminal Code in convicting.
That section states that in cases where specific intent is an element of the offence, intoxication must be taken into account.
“The magistrate in question didn’t take it into account,” Mr Worrell said. “My thought is, we have to do better.”
He said many people don’t bother with appeals because they don’t have legal aid or money.
With the conviction successfully quashed on April 15, Mr Jhuboo, a Mauritian national, will be able to apply for future work on the Island, he said.
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