Labourers sentenced to three years in separate larceny cases

Two labourers, who pleaded guilty in separate larceny cases, were yesterday each sentenced to a three year jail term by acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry.

Mark Smith, 36, admitted to stealing a man’s motor cycle in the Botanical Gardens. Smith, who said he resides “in South,” pleaded guilty to the charge of simple larceny, which stated that on March 29 at Georgetown, he stole one Jialing motor cycle valued $160,000. The motorcycle was the property of Steven Dunbar.

In presenting the prosecution’s case, Police Corporal Venetta Pindar told the court that on the day in question, Dunbar had gone to the Botanical Gardens with friends.

Pindar said that after parking the cycle, Dunbar and his friends went over to the pond to watch the manatees. Pindar said after Dunbar turned his back on the cycle, Smith removed it.

Dunbar, after realising that his cycle was gone, immediately launched a search in the gardens, at which point he noticed Smith attempting to leave with it.

Pindar said that an alarm was raised and Smith was later apprehended and taken to the East Ruimveldt Police Station, where he was arrested and charged.

Asked if he accepted the prosecution’s account, on two occasions Smith replied “I guilty,” but he later tried to change his story as he was being led out of the court.

Before handing down the sentence, the Magistrate enquired from Smith if he had previous convictions and he responded in the affirmative. Smith explained that he had gone to jail for the offences of possession of offensive weapon, simple larceny and loitering. While the sentence was being given, she told Smith that the court had taken into consideration his previous convictions.

Meanwhile, Calvin France, 26, was also sentenced yesterday, after he admitted to breaking into a woman’s house and stealing $334,000 worth of items.

France admitted that on March 29, at Georgetown, he broke and entered the dwelling house of Natasha Samuels and stole a flat screen television, jewellery and other items, valued $334,000 in total.

Pindar told the court that Samuels secured her house by means provided and left for work.

Upon her return, she found that her television, jewellery and other items were missing. Upon making further checks, the court then heard that the woman realised her house had broken into.

A police report was subsequently made which led to France’s arrest and charge.

According to Pindar, a neighbour saw France in Samuel’s mango tree on the day of the theft.

While France initially denied the charge of break-and-enter-and larceny and was granted bail in the sum of $200,000, he changed his plea, saying that he could not afford to post the sum and he did not want to waste either his or the court’s time. “God knows I innocent, but me in able with this long, long court story,” he said.

However, after the Magistrate explained that she could not accept his guilty plea unless he was willing to unequivocally accept the facts presented by the prosecution, France did so and begged the court for leniency. Like Smith, he also admitted to having a previous conviction for simple larceny.

In handing down the sentence, Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry explained to the accused that she had considered the fact that he had a previous conviction, caused Samuels both inconvenience and damage to her home and the fact that he was an adult and should have known both the illegality and consequences of his actions.

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