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The defendant, William Jones outside the Kingstown Magistrate's Court on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.
The defendant, William Jones outside the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.
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Kingstown Magistrate John Ballah has urged a 66-year-old man not to further tarnish his record in the “twilight” of his life.

He gave the advice to William Jones on Monday, after he pleaded guilty to a charge that on Sept. 15, at Kingstown, he stole three bags of saltfish valued at EC$27, the property of Coreas Food Mart.

The facts, as presented by acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel, are that about 4:20 p.m. on Sept. 15, Cret Woodley, the loss prevention officer at Coreas Food Mart saw the defendant, who he knows very well, enter the store with a black plastic bag in his hands.

Woodley kept Jones under observation and noticed that he went into aisle 4.

Woodley followed Jones and saw him place three bags of codfish into the plastic bag that he had in his hand. 

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Woodley then placed himself at the exit door and he noticed the defendant pass the cashier without paying for the items that he had in the bag.

When Jones got to the exit door, Woodley approached him, informed him of his observation and requested a search of the bag.

Jones consented and when the loss prevention officer checked, three bags of saltfish were in the bag.

The police were called in and Jones was charged. He gave a statement to police admitting to the offence.

The magistrate noted that Jones has previous convictions for stealing a bottle of Nescafe from Coreas.  

Jones said that was a long time ago.

He, however, denied stealing a bottle of Sunset rum from Randy’s Supermarket.

Jones said he does not receive a pension and had taught himself “a little carpentry”.

The magistrate noted that on both occasions when Jones shoplifted, the court had placed him on a bond and it seems that the bond kept him in check.

Ballah took Jones’ age into consideration in deciding to place him on a bond.

He bonded Jones in the sum of EC$500. If he breaches the bond, he must pay the amount forthwith or spend two months in prison.

Ballah told Jones that the National Insurance Services and the government have programmes that would assist him.

“You are 66 and have two previous convictions for theft. You are in the twilight of your life. The two convictions,  you seem to have gotten in the twilight of his life. Stop,” the magistrate told Jones.

2 replies on “Magistrate tells 66-y-o saltfish thief to seek help from NIS”

  1. Selfish thief is a reflection of all that is bad with the economic situation in St Vincent. I am not condoning of the crime , but a reflection of of reality . A man will take the risk of stealing knowing that jail awaits him than not to indulge in thr act.

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