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Stoney Ground resident pleads guilty to stealing friend’s phone

Stoney Ground resident pleads guilty to stealing friend’s phone


Stoney Ground resident Geovanni Williams barely escaped being sent to prison when he appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court in Paul’s Avenue yesterday morning for stealing a black Samsung Galaxy S5 cellular phone.{{more}}

“This is a serious matter; it’s a breach of trust,” Senior Magistrate Bertie Pompey told Williams, as he stood pensive in the dock after pleading guilty to the charge.

According to the court, last Monday, September 12, at around 3:45 p.m., Williams went to the home of his close friend Shanique Sam of Paul’s Avenue. Sam was sleeping at the time and had left her phone charging.

Williams removed the phone and the charger, took the device to a business place in Kingstown, where he had all the information deleted. He then took it to another business place and sold it.

The court heard that Sam and Williams were close friends and when Sam awoke, she saw Williams and asked him about the phone, to which he replied, “I aint know bout da”.

Sam then went to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), where she made a report and investigations led to Williams being detained.

During his detention, he admitted to stealing the phone, valued at EC$1,200 and selling it. The phone and charger were recovered without the device’s case.

“I am sorry, I will pay for it and stay away from her. I don’t really want to go to round dey (prison),” Williams told the magistrate.

In response, Pompey told the defendant that the court system does not operate like that.

“You can’t just commit yourself and come in here talking about money…she trusted you in her place and if the police didn’t find the phone, I’m sure you would have come in here and plead not guilty,” Pompey said.

When Sam entered the dock, the magistrate asked her if she and Williams were involved in an intimate relationship, to which she replied that they were just friends.

However, Williams escaped a prison sentence because the magistrate took into consideration the early guilty plea. He was fined EC$40, as the phone case was not recovered, and EC$10 for the SIM card. He has two weeks to pay the fine or he will spend two months in prison. He was also bonded in the sum of EC$2,000 and has to keep the peace for two years.

Magistrate Pompey also told Williams that he had wiped Sam’s phone and that, in itself, was as serious matter, as the device may have contained intellectual property and a price could not be easily placed on that.

On hearing the magistrate’s decision, Williams clutched his hands in front his face, making a praying gesture.