Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:CASES INVOLVING the illegal abstraction of electricity dominated Wednesday's sitting of the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court. At the end of the day, three persons pleaded guilty and were hit with hefty fines.
In the case of Gloria Hayles, one of the three persons who pleaded guilty, presiding magistrate Carolyn Tai told the defendant that they were being a burden on legitimate customers who end up paying for their dishonesty.
"You know that it is wrong to take electricity without paying for it. A lot of persons in Jamaica steal electricity, and the rest of persons have to pay for it, so it is not fair," RM Tai told Hayles. "I am not going to send you to prison, but I am going to impose a fine, and your fingerprints will be taken."
Hayles, building contractor Benjamin Buckner, and electrician Christopher Jackson, the other two persons who pleaded guilty, were each fined $80,000 or 30 days in prison.
fight against theft
Since January 31, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has launched an operation in western Jamaica to prosecute persons who have been trespassing on the service they provide.
"Since we started (on January 31), 130 persons have been arrested for illegal abstraction of electricity," said T'shura Gibbs, JPS parish manager for St James. "We operate seven days a week, regardless of the time of day."
According to Gibbs, the communities targeted include Norwood, Flanker, Providence Heights, Granville, Pitfour, Tucker, Orange, Sign, and Bogue Hill.