A man was fined $25,000 yesterday after he told a city court that he took money entrusted to him to buy alcohol and used it instead to gamble and buy drugs.
“Guilty, mistress!” Deochand Ragubeer immediately declared when Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond asked him if he was guilty of converting Rawle Barclay’s $11,700 to his own use.
The court heard that Ragubeer was given the money to buy a bottle of high wine as well as vodka.
Prosecutor James Garnett said Ragubeer was entrusted with the money on January 17 to buy the alcohol but never returned. Barclay reported the crime to the police and it was only last Friday that the police arrested Ragubeer after Barclay saw him and held him until lawmen arrived.
Ragubeer told the court he dropped $2,000 and as a result he chose to gamble, hoping to regain the lost money. However, he ended up losing $6,700.
The magistrate asked him what happened to the remaining $3,000. He said, “I buy food and I smoke and I drink.” The man told the magistrate he greatly regretted his actions, while noting that he even lost an eye.
Both of Ragubeer’s eyes were intact at court but one was visibly swollen. The magistrate then asked, “If you lost one eye, how is it you can see to gamble?” The man explained that he got the injury when he was elbowed by a fellow gambler.
Ragubeer also told the magistrate that he had to buy marijuana, black joint (cocaine and marijuana) and alcohol because he has a medical condition and those are the only things that can help him.
This prompted her to ask what kind of alcohol he bought. He said, “the same high wine a was sent to buy, mistress.”
The man then rattled on before he was silenced by the magistrate, who gave him a drug rehabilitation pamphlet and told him to read it. The man thanked her for the pamphlet and told her that he loved to read.
He was then fined $25,000 with an alternative of two months in prison. He thanked the magistrate for her decision and opined that she was fair in her ruling.