A vigorous effort by defence lawyer Carl Williams to save Lowmans Leeward resident Natasha Allen from a prison sentence, ended in failure at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
Allen, 45, was charged with stealing a stainless steel mug valued $28.00 from Jax Enterprises, on October 9.
It was only after Allen had spoken to Williams before the start of Wednesday’s proceedings, that he decided to mitigate on her behalf.
The woman pleaded guilty, and Williams acknowledged that, “No crime should be considered as trivial.”
He said he had an opportunity to look at her record, and, “it appears as though she has a problem, even in relation to a bond which was imposed on her.”
He then asked the Court to allow Allen to pay compensation for the mug, in addition to the money on the bond. But Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett replied sharply, “Not this morning!”
He noted that Allen was bonded on several occasions for stealing from businesses, but she continued along that path.
“It is time for the Court to get tough with her, and I am going to be tough with her this morning,” the Senior Magistrate stated.
Prosecutor Curlene Samuel told the Court, “The last time she (Allen) was here, we tried with her, and we sent her for some evaluation… the report we got is that she was good.”
Burnett was of the view that the time had come for the Court to put a stop to Allen’s dishonest activities, by sending her to prison.
“She could be a thief if she wants, but she has to bear the consequences,” Burnett crystalised.
“I am not going to do it again,” the woman pleaded but no avail as the Magistrate remained firmed in his ruling.
“You could talk for as long as you want, but you have to be stopped, and I am going to stop you this time,” Burnett told the woman before sentencing her to two months in prison.
In addition, she would have to pay the Court $750 forthwith or five month behind bars for breaking a recent bond. If she fails to pay the bond money, the sentences will run consecutively, as they are for two separate offences.
“She needs special help,” Williams told the Magistrate, who replied, “She will get that at the prison.”
Allen was caught on camera shoplifting the mug.
A report was made to the police and she was subsequently arrested at the same store, and charged.