A 25-year-old Fitz Hughes man was, on Friday, jailed for nine months for stealing and destroying a laptop that the Community College lent to one of his cousins to complete his education.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne left Julius Carter in no doubt about how repulsed she was about his crime.
She noted that the defendant was before her on a similar charge months after she had given him a chance to turn his life around.
Carter pleaded guilty to a charge that between Dec. 1, 2018 and Feb. 26, 2019, at Fitz Hughes, he stole one black Acer laptop, serial number NXV7PEK032422250113400, value EC$500, the property of the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The court heard that the Community College lent the laptop to a student at its academic division to help in the conclusion of his education there.
Carter moved back to Fitz Hughes in December 2018 and was frequenting the home of his aunt, the student’s mother.
The woman kept the laptop on a centre table in her living room.
Around Feb. 26, they discovered that the laptop was missing.
The matter was reported to the Chateaubelair Police Station and Police Constable Thomille Samuel launched an investigation.
On Feb. 28, a search warrant was executed at Carter’s home and the laptop was recovered but was not in the same condition as when it went missing.
“It is in pieces,” Corporal David Wright, the police court clerk who presented the facts, told the court.
Carter was interviewed and gave a statement, admitting to the offence.
In mitigation, Carter told the court that his aunt had spoken to him about a laptop that was not turning on. He said he saw the laptop at her house and removed it, but she had not given his permission to do so.
The defendant told the court that the laptop was in that condition because he was working on it.
He said that when the matter came up, he admitted to the offence, because his aunt had not given him permission to remove the device from her home.
He further said that when he removed the laptop from the house it was, in fact, turning on.
But the chief magistrate told the man that she did not believe his story, adding that the crime was extremely aggravating.
She told the man that his aunt, had undoubtedly, welcomed him into her home notwithstanding his situation and antecedent record.
Browne said that the laptop was, no doubt, lent to the student because he could not have afforded one.
But Carter told the court that his cousin had another laptop.
“I don’t believe you,” the chief magistrate said.
“Look at the state of the computer; all kinds of bits and pieces. You have no conscience You just make up your mind to continue and pursue this line of behaviour.”
Before handing down the sentence, the chief magistrate noted that the man had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and said this was the only thing that went to his credit.
She noted that he had two previous convictions of a similar nature.
“No conscience man. Your own cousin. Last time you came, I gave you an opportunity to redeem yourself. You have no interest in that,” she said.