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Prowler awaits sentence

A Warwick man was today found guilty of prowling.

Coltrane Ratteray, 46, was captured on CCTV lurking on a family's back porch and trying to enter their home.

After a morning's deliberations, the jury returned an 11 to one majority guilty verdict on the third day of the trial at Supreme Court.

Judge Charles Etta-Simmons scheduled a provisional sentencing date of July 1 and asked for pre-sentencing reports. Ratteray will be held in custody until then and was on parole when he committed the crime.

The court was shown footage of Ratteray trying the door and window of the family's home on Fairvale Lane, Warwick, at 2.38am on September 28 last year.

Resident Mark Eldridge told the court on Tuesday that the incident had been recorded by his home security camera, which switches on when motion is detected “to secure the safety of my family and children”.

He received an e-mail alerting him that the security system had been triggered and the message included a still photograph of Ratteray.

His wife Lisa Silva told the jury on Tuesday that the footage showed the prowler trying to enter their home then taking a drink from their outdoor fridge.

“That's the door where he's reaching, it's deadbolted. It shows him moving a chair and that's where the window is,” she said.

“It shows he's going into the fridge.”

Mr Eldridge, a director of business at Renaissance Re, contacted police, and Detective Constable Sylvester Augustine and other officers recognised Ratteray.

He was arrested on November 3 after handing himself in to Hamilton Police Station.

In her summation to the jury before they debated their verdict, Judge Simmons highlighted that “recognition evidence is not trouble-free” and that “witnesses can make mistakes”.

But she said the officers who recognised Ratteray were all long-serving and with “good experience of making observations”.

“There is nothing in the evidence that attacks those officers' integrity or suggests they colluded together,” Judge Simmons added.

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Published June 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm (Updated June 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm)

Prowler awaits sentence

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