A SERIAL thief who went on a four-year crime spree in Barataria has been sentenced to five years’ hard labour for breaking into 20 homes and a delivery truck.
Steve Selby, also of Barataria, pleaded guilty when he appeared before Port of Spain magistrate Nizam Khan in the 11th court.
Sealey, who was unrepresented, said he was sorry but blamed his criminal acts to a 12-year cocaine addiction. He has 13 previous convictions for similar offences for which he served between two months and three years in prison.
According to the facts read out in court, Sealey broken into the houses, causing damage, and stole items including television sets, electronics, jewellery, cash and snacks. Most of the items he sold for $300 to passing drivers.
Allowed to speak on his behalf, Sealey admitted the drugs were not a good idea. “But I have to blame myself too,” he said.
Prosecutors recommended a lengthy custodial sentence based on his previous convictions. After discounting one-third for his guilty plea, Khan sentenced him to five years on each of the 21 charges. Because they run concurrently, he will only serve five years.
“It is almost a disease. You’re a serial thief,” Khan said. “People ought to live in their homes in peace,” he said as he bemoaned the deleterious effect home robberies had on society.
He told Sealey to use his time in prison to “do better” and to mend his bad ways.