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Appeal Court Reduces Sentence For Man Who Stole From Church

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAN who stole electronic equipment from a church had his sentence reduced by the Court of Appeal yesterday.

Melvin Ingraham, 30, appeared before Justices Anita Allen, Christopher Blackman and Abdulai Conteh challenging his four year sentence for shop-breaking and stealing concerning a theft from the Church of God of Prophecy in August 2008.

Ingraham, who had been on bail up until his conviction in February of this year, told the judges that the sentence was “too much”.

“Why is that?” Justice Blackman asked.

“Of all places to break in, the church?” Justice Allen asked the convict.

“I don’t know what lead me to do it,” he answered, adding that the theft was “very stupid”.

“If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it,” he said.

Looking at Ingraham’s file, Justice Allen commended him for making good use of his time at Her Majesty’s Prison to learn the mechanic trade and further his education, suggesting that the full term may be in his best interests.

The judges asked the man if he knew the value of the amplifier that was stolen and he said he did not.

The judges told Ingraham that his case was an indictable one, and he could have faced up to 10 years for stealing and 14 years for shop-breaking.

When asked, the man told the court he had no previous convictions.

Crown prosecutor Darell Taylor did not oppose a reduction in sentence considering Ingraham’s circumstances.

Justice Allen granted the appeal and reduced his prison term to 2 1/2 years from the day of conviction.

“Mr Ingraham, continue what you are doing at the prison so that when you come out, you don’t have to break into a church for goodness sake,” Justice Allen told the appellant.

“Yes ma’am,” Ingraham answered.

“I trust that when you get out, you’re going to make a positive contribution to society,” the judge added.

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