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Teen appears before court for stealing bleaching cream


A 16-year-old Kingstown Technical Institute (KTI) student was yesterday released without punishment after he stole one tube of bleaching cream to “lighten the dark spots” on his face.{{more}}

The student appeared before the Serious Offences Court yesterday, charged that on January 9, 2017 at Kingstown, he stole one Symba Skin Lightening Cream from Coreas Hazells City Store, valued at EC$8. He pleaded guilty.

According to police, around 8:15 a.m., the store’s security witnessed the 16-year-old take the tube out of its box, place the box in a nearby garbage can and put the tube in his boxer shorts.

The teenager then casually walked out of the store and was apprehended by the guard, who took him back inside and found the tube following a search. He was then handed over to the police and made no statements to them.

However, when asked by Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias what he would like to say in his defence, the teen replied, “I could get bail please?”

The Chief Magistrate explained to him that the proceedings had far passed the stage of bail, to which he replied, “Give me another chance, please.”

During the Chief Magistrate’s questioning, it was revealed that the Family Court had placed the 16-year-old at KTI after his father passed away.

“Why are you bleaching your skin,” asked Browne-Matthias.

The teenager told Browne-Matthias that he has spots on his face that he is trying to get rid of.

Seemingly unimpressed by his answer, Browne-Matthias told the boy that the spots would have disappeared eventually and suggested a number of natural remedies to remove them.

Further questioning revealed that the teen had three other siblings who live with his mother, while he lives alone at Redemption Sharpes.

Upset by this information, Browne-Matthias stated that the matter before her is the product of when parents shun their responsibilities of guidance. She also said that she sometimes wishes that it were the parents on the prisoner’s bench instead.

“Some people ain’t ready for parenthood at all,” the Chief Magistrate said.

Browne-Matthias further added that at 16, the youth should not be fending for himself. “This is why we have problems in society.”

She, however, advised the teen that it is up to him to not live up to that perception.

The Chief Magistrate made a restitution order on the cream and invoked Section 37 of the Criminal Code, which means that the student is to be treated as if he had never appeared before the court.(AS)