AN American man who came to Jamaica to soak up some of the sand, sun and sea, left people in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court utterly surprised on Thursday, when he faced a charge for being destitute.
Jeffery Patrick Kelly’s stay in the island was cut short after he was arrested and charged with being destitute when he was found wandering along the Port Royal main road in East Kingston on April 11.
The white, blue-eyed American had arrived in the island on March 4 and was scheduled to leave on July 1.
However, the court heard that the 35-year-old citizen of Massachusetts, did not have sufficient means to support himself and had been wandering around without food or money and had also become a charge on the public purse.
When Kelly’s case was mentioned and the prosecutor read out his charge, people inside the court were amazed that there existed such a charge.
Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey, who herself appeared stunned, then asked Kelly: “You is a destitute person.”
“Yes ma’am,” he quickly answered before pleading guilty to the charge.
“Then you can fine him for that?” RM Pusey then asked jokingly.
The prosecutor however told the court that the State just wanted Kelly removed from the country. As a result, the magistrate ordered that he should be deported to his country of birth.
“Mr Kelly, since you have pleaded guilty I am making an order so that you’ll be deported and returned home,” she told the foreigner.
According to police reports, Kelly told them that he had been staying with a friend in Cherry Gardens, St Andrew, but left for Port Royal and stayed by the sea for a few days.
Kelly also told the police that he did not have any food, money nor ticket to return home.
The police in their report stated that Kelly frequented Bobo Hill in St Thomas, Mellwood Avenue in Cherry Gardens and Chelsea Hotel in Port Royal during his brief stay in the island.