St. Mary, Jamaica (McN) – Electricity theft is the biggest problem for the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo), and as such, have made the clamping down on it as part of its mandate, while providing the island with energy.
On March 23, Ann Marie Robinson, a 48 year old shopkeeper of Highgate, St. Mary, pleaded guilty to charges of abstracting electricity from the grid. Her son was also charged for electricity theft. He plead not guilty, and the charges against him were later dropped.
It is alleged that on March 1, a team of JPS workers, along with police officers were in operation in the Highgate area, around 3 am, when they noticed an illegal connection to a house after careful observation.
Items such as a tablet that was charging, and a deep freezer in shop was seen illegally connected to the grid.
The prosecutor said when Ms. Robinson was being cautioned by the police, she said ” Lord Gosh, mi know mi shouldn’t put it up back. “
Justice Yvette Wentworth- Miller, senior judge over the case, asked Ms. Robinson to explain what she meant by such utterance.
Robinson replied that she heard that JPS had visited the premises before and she had gotten a chance.
“Mi did get someone fi put it up back” Robinson said.
The defendant told the court, she had been living at the premises, for the past 3 months and on that night, her son was spending the night at her place, and she was planning to get regularize.
Justice Wentworth Miller asked the defendant, “What should be a lenient sum of money ma’am that should impose on you for electricity theft.”
“I don’t know, just know it won’t happen to mi agent,” Robinson replied, while further explaining she was in the process of getting regularize.
Justice Wentworth – Miller ordered her to pay J$50,000 or spend 6 months behind bars, should she fail to make payment for electricity theft.