A Barrouallie man who said that he had gone for mangoes but ended up stealing cabbage has to walk within the law for the next six months to avoid a fine or jail time.
On Friday, at the Serious Offences Court, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne bonded Alfonso Wright for nine six months in the sum of EC$900 for stealing eight heads of cabbage, value EC$130, from a farmer.
If he should breach the bond, Wright would have to pay the court EC$900 forthwith, or go to prison for six months.
The court imposed a similar penalty on the man for criminal trespass in connection with his theft.
The facts of the case, as read by Corporal Atnel Ash, are that the complainant owns half an acre of land in Larley, Barrouallie.
On Wednesday, April 15, about 6:50 p.m., the complainant left the land with everything in order.
About 6:30 a.m. the following day, the complainant was at home when he received certain information and went to his farm.
He found that a quantity of cabbage, valued EC$130, was missing.
The complainant went to the Barrouallie Police Station and lodged a complaint with PC 480 Caesar, who conducted an investigation.
The investigation led to Bottle and Glass, Barrouallie, where Wright was found selling cabbage.
The officer told Wright of the report and the defendant responded, “Officer, is mangoes I went for and saw cabbage and pick them.”
Wright was arrested and charged.
The court heard that the police had retrieved the eight heads of cabbage that had been stolen and that they were in good condition.
In mitigation, the defendant told the court that he had last been imprisoned 22 years ago.
The magistrate said that while this had been the case, he also had a 2018 conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Brown said that while Wright had a few antecedents, the others were “of some vintage” (spent).
The chief magistrate said that in arriving at the sentence, she considered the nature and consequences of the offence and arrived at a starting point of a non-custodial sentence.
She said that aggravating the offence was the fact that the man had gone onto someone’s private property and committed theft.
Browne further observed that farmers brave the blistering sun and spend time nourishing their crops, especially in this arid season, only to have them stolen.
Mitigating, she said, was the fact that Wright had cooperated with the police and that the quantity of cabbage was retrieved.
Regarding the offender, Browne said that the critical thing was his own history.
She ordered restitution for the cabbage.
“Don’t go back!” she told Wright then handed down the sentences.
“So the onus now rests on you to behave yourself for a good six months,” she said.