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August 4, 2014
Star News


Former JPS employee on fraud charge granted bail
Bjorn Burke, Staff Reporter

A former Jamaica Public Service (JPS) employee accused of swindling a woman out of money was granted bail in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Charged with simple larceny, obtaining money by fraud, tampering with electricity, and tampering on the works of the JPS is 53-year-old licensed electrician Michael Sutton from Waltham Park, Kingston.

The Crown alleges that on the day of the incident, Sutton went to a premises pretending that he was a JPS employee, collected $30,000 from the female complainant under the guise that she was in arrears, later stealing a meter belonging to the power company from the property.

In making a bail application, Sutton's attorney, Shauna-Gaye Mitchell, argued that the allegations are completely unfounded. She said Sutton was in all actuality called upon for his services as an electrician to the premises by the complainant, who is believed to have had a problem with a circuit breaker that was reportedly gashing fire. Consequently, she argued that Sutton was simply carrying out his duties as an electrician by removing the JPS meter.

"I know that the breaker thing is the square thing on the wall, and it have whole heap of button," Resident Magistrate (RM) Georgiana Fraser remarked, probing the matter.

The court heard that Sutton allegedly went to the property identifying himself as a JPS technician, using an expired identification card.

Subsequently, Sutton was granted $100,000 bail with surety. He was ordered to report to the Hunts Bay Police Station on Tuesdays and Saturdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. A fingerprint order was also made. He returns to court on August 26.

As he departed from the dock, RM Fraser advised him: "Mr Sutton, I'd advise that you don't do anything with any JPS meter in the future. Even if it's on fire, leave it alone!"

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