Thief jailed while goat and sheep return home
Thanks to the vigilance of Corporal 403 Nigel John, two sheep and one goat will be returning to their Central Leeward homes for Christmas after they were stolen away last month.
However, one of the men arrested for stealing the livestock will not get to go home for Christmas.
After a full trial last week Tuesday, Immanuel Cyrus, 31 years of Largo Heights, December 10, was convicted for three counts of theft, and one count of conspiracy to commit the offence of theft.
He, and his co-accused Declon Lynch, 28 years of Old Montrose, were jailed for one night in anticipation of their sentence the following day, Wednesday, December 11.
Lynch who had pled guilty at the first opportunity when they were first charged in November, was spared an immediate prison sentence. However, Cyrus will be spending some time in prison for his actions.
The two men were first offenders before this, and during the trial the court heard how close they were to getting away with the theft.
Corporal John was leading a party of Rapid Response Unit(RRU) officers on patrol in Kingstown and the surrounding area at 2:30am on November 3.
When they were in Lowmans Leeward, heading to Campden Park, passing the meat shop, the Corporal saw a white Toyota Corolla, plate number P5650, heading in the opposite direction.
Its windows were heavily tinted, and all the glasses were up. John said that his suspicion was raised and so he instructed the driver to turn the vehicle around and pursue the Toyota.
The driver did this, and as they got closer to the vehicle, it sped up. The vehicle then went down a gap by Gibson Corner, while the chase continued. The car turned a corner and stopped. The corporal saw the silhouette of three persons disappearing into the bushes.
A search of the vehicle revealed one foot of a slipper, a cellphone and a drivers’ license for Cyrus. The officers also smelled the scent of sheep, which they followed and removed the back seat of the car. They found the other animals in the back.
Lynch came to the station the next day, because he had heard the police towed the vehicle he had rented. At first he denied any involvement, and said that he had lent Cyrus the car.
PC Arthur went to the Largo Height home of Cyrus, and met him there. Cyrus told the officer that he just reach home, and he ran from the police the night before.
Cyrus denied that he knew about any theft, he gave a statement telling the police that he got into the car with Lynch and two other guys. Lynch had told him earlier that they were going on a “scene” but that he didn’t know what it was. He said he came out at Chauncey, and waited there, until the men came back. He was an auxiliary police officer before, so one of the men in the vehicle didn’t trust him and this is why he got out. On the way back the men picked him up, but he ended up driving. When the police followed him, Cyrus said he didn’t know it was a chase. Lynch told him to run because of the police, he claimed.
These claims were tested at length by Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche who put it to the defendant that he knew what the mission was about.
Further the police indicated that the two men had gone with them to point out where they took the animals from.
After hearing the evidence, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne was “sure” that Cyrus could be convicted of the offence.
Before recommending a sentence, Delplesche first commented that “Corporal John did a brilliant piece of work,” and with his “brilliant observation” was able to save three farmers their animals.
The prosecution said that his actions were “duty beyond average in my opinion.”
For Cyrus and Lynch, Delpleshce recommended “the toughest sentence within the four walls of the laws” for the men.
He said he has been consistently speaking on the prevalence of praedial larceny and the pain of the farmers.
“In the sweat of the brow you shall eat bread” the Bible teaches that. And if you ain sweat, you should not eat bread,” the prosecution commented.
“When you only get a sweat because you run from the police, you can’t eat bread. You could eat jail bread. Because that’s the only sweat you get – when you run,” he continued.
The three farmers, Gilroy Oliver, Renold Toussaint, and Silvan Solomon had all testified about when they missed their animals.
Toussaint said that he realized the mother goat was missing because the kiddies were “bawling” and so he searched for the mother but only found a cut rope. He said he looked and looked and couldn’t find her.
Solomon, farming since he was a little boy, said persons were always stealing from him, and that there was time where they stole 15 animals from him at once.
Oliver said when he went to look he didn’t find his sheep, and only found the rope. He didn’t report it until much later because he knew someone with a vehicle had to have taken it.
“The animals are alive, thank God, so that there can be restitution orders. But, the wannabes out there must know that once they are caught…” the Prosecutor noted, saying that the fact that they drove from their home in town all the way to Barrouallie was a serious aggravating factor.
Cyrus had nothing to say after being convicted. Lynch begged for mercy.
“I’m sorry for getting myself involved in this mess,” Lynch said. He told the magistrate, “Everybody makes mistakes your honour. I’m not saying I’m one of the perfect ones…”
He asked for a suspended sentence and a fine because he is the only breadwinner in his family and needs to work.
The next day, Lynch was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for six months, on all counts.
Cyrus who had expressed no remorse was sentenced to six months in prison for all counts, to run concurrently. His wife, sitting in the courtroom, was more affected by her husband’s punishment, shedding tears.