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Cedric John gestures as he leaves the Colonarie Magistrate's Court on Sept. 21, 2023.
Cedric John gestures as he leaves the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court on Sept. 21, 2023.
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A New Grounds man says that he sold a head of cattle he mistakenly thought belonged to his friend because he was under pressure to repay the bank.

Now, the man, Cedric John, 58, must come up with EC$4,000 to repay the owner of the animal in two months if he is to avoid jail time.

On Thursday, John appeared before Magistrate Bertie Pompey at the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court sitting at Georgetown, and pleaded guilty to a charge that between Sept. 15 and 17, at New Grounds, he stole one brown and black cattle, valued at EC$4,000, the property of Colin Browne, of Park Hill.

The prosecutor, Corporal Delando Charles read the facts to the court, saying that on

Sept 15, about 5 p.m., Browne secured his brown and black cattle with a chain and strong man rope on lands at New Grounds.

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Two days later, at about 2 p.m., Browne’s cousin went to look after the cattle and discovered that it was missing.

The animal was not recovered and police investigations revealed that it was slaughtered.

In mitigation, John told the court that one “Bad Talk” owns the cattle. He said he thought the animal belonged to his friend “Ian” and as a result, he sold it.

John said he “end up and get in a serious thing with the bank and after I sold the cattle, I end up and pay the bank with the money”.

He said he also passed by “Ian” to inform him of the cattle but Ian told him that the cattle belonged to someone else.

John said he communicated with the owner of the cattle and offered to repay the money by the end of next month but the owner said he did not believe and would go to court.

John told the magistrate that he did not get permission from “Ian” to take or sell his cattle.

“I know I was wrong,” John told the court.

The magistrate told the defendant that he does not take stealing lightly, especially the theft of produce and livestock.

“This is what people rely on for a living,” Pompey said.

After the one third discount was applied for the early guilty plea, the magistrate settled on a sentence of eight months imprisonment, which he suspended for a year.

The magistrate also ordered compensation in the sum of EC$4,000 to be paid in two months or nine months imprisonment.