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A Green Hill vendor who stole agricultural produce in Diamonds told the court it was a “good while” he had not committed an offence and asked the magistrate to impose a fine.

On Thursday, at the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Georgetown, Rasheet Watson pleaded guilty to a charge that on Nov. 25, at Orange Hill, he stole seven bunches of plantain valued at EC$210, the property of Leonard Fergus, of Diamonds Village.

“Whey he from?” Magistrate Bertie Pompey, who was presiding, asked, seemingly recognising the defendant.

“Green Hill,” the magistrate said, answering his own question, before the police officers could. “I see him all about selling things.”

Prosecutor, Corporal 817 Stapleton told the court that the virtual complainant plants plantains on his lands at Orange Hill.

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On Nov.25, about 5:15 a.m., one Mr. Monroe was on his farm when he saw motor vehicle RW997 stop at Fergus’ farm.

Two men exited the vehicle and went to Fergus’ farm.

Fergus and the police were informed.

Watson ran when the police visited the farm but was later apprehended and charged.

In mitigation, Watson told the court:

“I plead guilty because I don’t want to waste the court’s time … Good while me ain’t engage in those stuff.”

He asked the magistrate to impose a fine and give him some time to pay the fine.

Pompey noted that Watson had 15 convictions, including for controlled drugs, theft, assault occasioning bodily harm, criminal trespass and dishonesty.

The magistrate ordered the defendant to pay a fine of EC$200 forthwith or two months in prison.

He was further ordered to pay compensation of EC$210 in one month or three months in prison.

Peter Baptiste
Peter Baptiste.

Three days earlier, on Nov. 27, Peter Baptiste, of Penniston, pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Pompey imposed a fine of EC$800, with EC$400 to be paid forthwith or four months imprisonment.

The balance was to be paid in one month or four months in prison.

During that sitting, the prosecutor, Corporal Delando Charles had also told the court that a particular vehicle had been used in the commission of these crimes.

He had also asked the court that the defendant be remanded to prison as he has been accustomed to interfere with investigations.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Watson was jointly charged with Baptiste that on Nov. 29, at Peruvian Vale, they stole 145lbs of lemon, valued at EC$580 and 80 grapefruits, valued at EC$200, total value, EC$780, the property of Frederick Richards, of Golden Vale.

Both men also appeared before Pompey at the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court sitting at Georgetown. Baptiste pleaded guilty to the charge and Watson pleaded not guilty.

The magistrate granted each accused bail in the sum of EC$1,200 with one surety and adjourned the matter to the Biabou Magistrate Court, sitting at Calliaqua, tentatively for Dec. 8.

Baptiste had secured a surety by the end of the court sitting but Watson did not and was taken away aboard a police vehicle.