Trinidad: Three moms charged with unlawful possession of groceries

(Trinidad Guardian) Three moth­ers charged with un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of gro­cery items have been giv­en un­til Mon­day to pro­duce a re­ceipt or proof that they pur­chased the items.

Kim­ber­ly Pur­cell, 35, Ameena Boiselle, 23 and Jen­nifer Gar­cia, 30, all of Va­len­cia, were each grant­ed $15,000 own bail by San Fer­nan­do Se­nior Mag­is­trate Cher­ril-Anne An­toine in the First Court on Fri­day.

They were ar­rest­ed and charged by PC Roopc­hand on Thurs­day af­ter they failed to pro­vide a re­ceipt or give a rea­son­able ex­pla­na­tion of how they came about the goods found in their pos­ses­sion.

The gro­cery items in­clud­ed tis­sue, cof­fee, ghee, ba­by milk, peanut but­ter, nuts, rice, jam, in­sec­ti­cide, clothes de­ter­gent, mouth­wash, soap, tooth­paste, juice, bleach, dish­wash­ing liq­uid, pep­per sauce, air fresh­en­er, bug mat, tis­sue and two cas­es of wa­ter.

Roopc­hand, in his ev­i­dence, said the po­lice re­ceived a re­port about three women act­ing sus­pi­cious­ly at GN Su­per­mar­ket at Debe. Based on that in­for­ma­tion, Roopc­hand said he and his two col­leagues stopped a red Nis­san Ti­i­da around 10 pm along the SS Erin Road. Pur­cell was the dri­ver while Bois­selle and Gar­cia were oc­cu­pants.

Roopc­hand ob­served gro­cery items scat­tered on the back seat and floor. He said he al­so found three tied garbage bags con­tain­ing more gro­cery items in the trunk. Roopc­hand said he asked the women if they were in pos­ses­sion of re­ceipts for the items but they re­mained silent.

When he told them he be­lieved the items were stolen or un­law­ful­ly ob­tained, Roopc­hand said the women still said noth­ing. He said he did not ask them if they were af­fect­ed by the re­cent floods be­cause he was sus­pi­cious of the way the items were scat­tered. If they were flood-re­lief do­na­tions, he said they would have been pack­aged in a bet­ter way.

In cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by at­tor­ney Ains­ley Lucky, Roopc­hand ad­mit­ted he nev­er asked the women where they ob­tained the items. Lucky said his in­struc­tions were that the women pur­chased the items in Princes Town at a mi­ni-mart. Lucky put it to the of­fi­cer that the items were in han­dle bags and fell out while the car was mov­ing.

Roopc­hand de­nied see­ing any han­dle bags in the car.

Lucky sub­mit­ted to the mag­is­trate that there was no def­i­nite proof of theft. He said Pur­cell said she dis­card­ed the re­ceipt af­ter pur­chas­ing the items. Lucky al­so ar­gued it was not plau­si­ble that the women stole all those items, par­tic­u­lar­ly the two cas­es of wa­ter, with­out be­ing seen. He asked the mag­is­trate to give them the ben­e­fit of the doubt and al­low them to go home to their fam­i­ly.

Seedan said the po­lice re­ceived a re­port about the women’s sus­pi­cious be­hav­iour, the women were hes­i­tant to an­swer the po­lice ques­tions and gave the po­lice no ex­pla­na­tion as to how they came about the items.

Bois­selle, a house­wife and moth­er of a four-year-old girl, and Pur­cell, a house­wife with three chil­dren ages 11, 10, four, had no con­vic­tions or pend­ing mat­ters. But Gar­cia, a house­wife and moth­er of four chil­dren ages eight, sev­en, three and two, was re­cent­ly con­vict­ed for lar­ce­ny.

The mat­ter was ad­journed to Mon­day.