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Watchman sentenced to three years for burglarizing school he was supposed to secure

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2024. 11:40 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Jermaine Jason Haulze, a 32-year-old father and security guard, is now serving a three-year prison sentence for burglary after admitting to stealing money from Saint Luke’s Methodist Primary School, where he was employed as a watchman.

Haulze, a resident of Kelly Street, was captured on surveillance footage on Saturday, June 8, 2024, entering the Standard 1 classroom and stealing two bags containing $636.28. The money belonged to the school. At his arraignment, Haulze immediately pleaded guilty to the charge.

The sitting Magistrate asked Haulze why he committed the crime despite being employed at the school. Haulze explained, “Yes, I work deh but I nuh deh mek no kind ah money like dat.” He admitted that his actions were wrong but said he needed money to pay for things.

The Magistrate adjourned the matter until the afternoon, giving Haulze time to reconsider his plea. When the court reconvened, Haulze maintained his guilty plea, stating, “I’d ah deh pah take, deh it nuh mek sense.” He explained that his actions were out of character and driven by desperation, as he needed to pay a school bill for his six-year-old daughter and a balance of $125 for her to take a test to advance to Standard 1.

During the hearing, Haulze’s foster mother, Ruth Yard, spoke on his behalf, describing him as an excellent father and a hardworking, trustworthy person. However, the Magistrate emphasized the seriousness of the crime, noting that it was premeditated and deliberate, and that burglaries of schools ultimately harm the children.

The prosecution, led by Sgt. Noel Muschamp, sought a custodial sentence. While the Magistrate acknowledged Haulze’s remorse, cooperation with the police, and his previously clean record, she also noted the breach of trust and the impact on the school community. Weighing these factors, she gave Haulze a one-third reduction for his early guilty plea, reducing a potential four-year sentence to three years.

Haulze’s sentence takes effect from today, Thursday, June 13, 2024. This case underscores the severe consequences of breaching trust and committing burglary, particularly in a school setting, where the true victims are the children.

 

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