Dominica: Jail sentence for Hurricane Maria looter

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Last updated: November 13, 2017 at 11:09 am

A four-year prison sentence has been handed down to a man convicted of stealing in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Kendy O’Brien, from St Joseph, was imprisoned for activity that took place on 19 September, a day after Maria hit.

“[He] stole a number of items at Jimmit belonging to Fine Foods Inc. On Tuesday, the 2nd of November, O’Brien was arrested and charged for the theft of items, including one air conditioner, one solar panel and battery, one transformer, one chiller, and one desk top monitor,” said Pelham Jno Baptitse, press officer with the police force.

During his trial last week at St Joseph magistrate court, O’Brien was convicted and will serve his sentence at Dominica State Prison.

When Maria struck the island as category five hurricane on 18 September it caused widespread destruction.

At least 27 people have died – according to the latest official figures – and thousands have bee left without power, water or a roof over their head.

At the end of September, police chief Daniel Carbon said his force had been dealing with “massive looting” across the island, especially in the capital.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit expressed disappointment over disorder.

“We have to be orderly. We have to be respectful of the authorities. If the police have to be diverting their attention to bring orderliness there is an unnecessary distraction,” he said.

“I should be using all of the police officers we have in assisting and delivering supplies.”

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