A 21-year-old man who stole an EC$6 block of cheese from Massy Stores Arnos Vale was on Monday ordered to pay the supermarket the cost of the deli item or go to prison for one week.

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne also encouraged the thief, Imran Garrick, 21, of Greiggs, to improve his education.

According to the facts presented by the prosecution, about 7 p.m. last Friday, March 1, Joanne Samuel, the loss prevention officer, was on duty at the store and was patrolling the area of the deli.

She observed the defendant with a block of NorthB Coloured Vege Cheese in his left hand.

Samuel kept Garrick under observation and saw him put the cheese in his front left pocket.

Samuel informed a police officer who was on duty at the store and the officer waited for the defendant to leave the store.

On seeing Garrick pass the cashier without paying for the item, the police officer stopped him and told him of his observation.

Garrick was taken into custody, handed over the cheese to police and was charged.

When asked what he had to say for himself, Garrick told the court nothing.

The magistrate reminded him that as part of the orientation interview he had to do for his court appearance, he had given a particular answer to a question.

She asked him why that was the case.

Garrick did not respond.

On further inquiry, he told the court that he left school at Grade 6 and did not go on to secondary school because of the answer he had given to the question.
The man further told the court that he lives with his father and his mother migrated since he was 3 years old.

He further said that he sells onions and potatoes in Kingstown for someone on Fridays and Saturdays and his father is a farmer.

Browne observed that Garrick had stolen the cheese on one of the days that he worked, but the defendant said he gets paid on Saturdays.

He told the court he was going to eat the cheese.

The magistrate noted that the man had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity but noted his attempt to conceal the theft.

She told him that she was concerned about certain things regarding his education.

She further said it would be wise for him to improve that or he would always feel a little disadvantaged going though life.

“You have to address that,” she said, adding, “Even the very basics.”

The chief magistrate noted that the man had spent a weekend in custody and ordered him to compensate the supermarket.