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Cathedral burglar admits going on five-month theft spree

Jahroy Simons (File photograph)

A Sandys man pleaded guilty yesterday to a five-month burglary spree in which he stole cash, alcohol and jewellery from the Anglican Cathedral, homes and businesses.

Jahroy Simons, 36, admitted 19 offences that took place between July and December last year including 12 burglaries.

Simons also pleaded guilty to three counts of causing wilful damage, two breaches of public health regulations, one count of trespassing and one count of possessing a knife in a public place.

The court heard the first offence took place on July 18 last year when he broke into a Warwick home and stole $535 of jewellery and other items.

Later that month, on July 27, he entered Ruby Murry’s restaurant in the City of Hamilton as a trespasser and stole $185 of alcohol.

On August 14, Simons was caught with a brown-handled knife on Parliament Street in Hamilton, although Javone Rogers, for the Crown, said the case was one of “passive possession”.

Less than a week later, Simons broke into a boat and stole $4,085 worth of goods including fishing gear, knives and a tool box, damaging a locked cabin door in the process.

On September 1, Simons entered the Bermuda Bistro on Front Street with intent to steal. He returned to the establishment and trespassed again on October 23, at which time he stole bottles of alcohol worth $370.

That same month he trespassed into another Front Street bar, the Birdcage, where he stole $220 in cash.

The offences continued on November 2 when Simons entered the Sunglass and Watch Shop on Reid Street where he stole $6,730 of goods.

Over the course of December Simons stole cash from Portofino Restaurant and Bermy Cuisine, sodas from the Burger Shack, alcohol from Bungalow 56 and two televisions from the Ocean View Golf Club, where he also damaged CCTV cameras.

Simons damaged CCTV equipment at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on December 21 where he stole audio visual equipment, gift bags, communion wine and a jewelled cross valued at $2,500.

Mr Rogers told the court Simons had a long history of previous offences, with his last conviction recorded in April 2021. At that time, Simons was sentenced to six months of time served for receiving stolen goods.

“It’s quite clear from the dates of these offences that Simons was on a burglary spree from July to December last year,” Mr Rogers said.

“Given Simons’s history and the committal of these offences in such a way, he was a menace to society for five months straight.”

He argued that, given Simons’s guilty plea, the appropriate sentence would be three years behind bars.

Auralee Cassidy, counsel for Simons, said her client accepts responsibility for his action and that he has struggled with addiction.

“Unfortunately, his addictions have led to this spree,” she said. “He has pleaded guilty because of his remorse.”

Ms Cassidy said that a total sentence of two years and six months would be appropriate and added that she hoped Simons would receive treatment for his addictions while he was behind bars.

Magistrate Maxanne Anderson reserved her sentence until Wednesday and remanded Simons into custody until then.

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