Woman earns criminal record for theft at Massy
A 38-YEAR-old self-employed mother living in Canouan now has a criminal record after stealing over $200 worth of items from Massy Supermarket in Kingstown.
Defendant Shenedon Isha Matthews, who cried throughout her sentencing, pleaded with the court on Monday, February 1, saying that she had never made any trouble before.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett told her that she had made trouble now, “Big woman like you, in your right mind, do this foolishness.”
She cried as she pleaded with him, promising that she would never do it again.
At approximately 7:10 am on Friday, January 29, the defendant executed her crime by picking up items from the shelves at Massy supermarket and placing them in a black plastic bag. At the time, Matthews was being observed by the Loss Prevention Officer in the store, and was seen paying for only two of the items she had removed. She was stopped before exiting the store, and a search was conducted. The search revealed the other products she had taken which belong to the store.
The police were called in, and they viewed the CCTV footage which had captured everything.
The items amounted to $211.38, and included cleaning products, perfume, cocoa butter, and food.
Prosecutor Corlene Samuel noted that when the defendant was confronted she had told the security she bought them outside before she came in. Samuel concluded therefore, that Matthews’ actions were planned.
Further, she had $200 on her person at the time.
Later that morning, in an interview with police, Matthews admitted to the offence.
Matthews told the magistrate that she has four children: two are adults, one lives with their father and her two-year-old is living with her.
She has the support of her boyfriend, the father of her youngest child, who is a fisherman. This is in addition to her business selling clothes and other items to make money. They have to pay rent.
Matthews travelled from Canouan on Thursday, and was set to return to the Grenadine island, the following day, which is when the incident took place.
When it comes to a reason for her actions, the defendant only said tearfully, “I just don’t know how it happened.”
“Well I don’t know… how you don’t know how it happened,” the magistrate told her.
“…You made that decision to go in to Massy store,” Burnett said, “…you made that decision before you went in to the store. You planned this thing that you were going in to this store and you were going to do this.”
The mother was silent when asked about her intentions.
“Look at what you have done to yourself, and your family and your children,” he told her.
He observed “I can tell you, she didn’t sleep last night…because I drove in this morning and she was the first person outside. That tells me that there is nothing called sleep last night,” as she was worried about what was going to happen to her.
The magistrate told her that she has changed her life for $211.38, “…That’s the value that your life has changed for.”
Court matters are often reported by the media, therefore “When your children go school, their friends, they are going to know that their mommy is a thief… an innocent child, who has done no wrong, but she is going to suffer because of what was been done by her mother.”
Another issue that came out was that the defendant did know that there were cameras in the store but still stole. The judicial officer noted that this was the case with many defendants who came before him, commenting “So what do you make of that? It’s like locking up yourself.”
Ultimately, he decided to impose a fine of $500 to be paid by February 26. Should she fail to pay this, she will have to serve a prison sentence of six months.
The items were recovered by the police and will be returned to the supermarket as they are in good condition.