Magistrate Bertie Pompey has made it clear to a cattle thief that the court is aware of the reality of praedial larceny in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“I am not living in the sky. I am aware that theft is a problem,” he said at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, on Monday, while sentencing cattle thief, Shakoy Lewis, 24, of San Souci.
“What is more discouraging is that you (farmers) toiling yourself away, getting up early every morning and then looking after your animals and somebody go walk in and it just disappear,” Pompey said.
Lewis pleaded guilty to a charge that on April 2, at San Souci, he stole one black heifer, valued at EC$2,000, the property of Daniel Toby, 51, of Diamonds Village.
The court heard that about 8 p.m. on April 2, the Colonarie Police Station received an anonymous call that the defendant was seen tying a black heifer to a tree near Klinford Neverson’s resident in San Souci
A party of officers headed by Corporal 670 Williams went to the area and Neverson told them that Lewis had tried to sell him the cattle but he refused to purchase it.
The police then went to Lewis’ and asked about ownership of the cattle.
The defendant informed the police that he stole the cattle from an area in San Souci called, “Bentick”.
In mitigation, Lewis told the court he dropped out of school at form 5.
“I take the cattle to sell,” he said.
Pompey noted to Lewis that he could be sentenced to up to two years imprisonment on summary conviction.
The magistrate told the defendant that he is old enough to understand the consequences of his actions and sentenced him to 12 months in prison, suspended for one year.
“If you commit yourself, you go to prison. There’s no doubt about it; no joke about it,” the magistrate told the defendant.