Mother, son caught stealing from Massy supermarket
In an apparent joint enterprise, a 41-year-old mother and her eight year old son together stole over $100 worth of items from MASSY supermarket, but the mother took full reponsibility in court last Friday.
The mother was appearing at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court for the fifth time last Friday; but she only decided to admit her guilt on this occasion.
The court heard how she stole two packs of milo, one choc ice, one strawberry swirl cheesecake, one antiseptic liquid, one limacol, one Ju-C lemonade, and one flea/tick powder worth $110.23 from the supermarket.
According to the evidence, on April 27, 2019, the mother entered the supermarket at 6:05 p.m. along with her son. She had a bag which she placed in a shopping cart.
However, the security guard at the door had been alerted to something concerning the defendant, and this was in turn relayed to the Loss Prevention Officer, who went to view the CCTV footage.
The defendant was being monitored while she walked through the aisles, and the Officer observed that she put some items in the trolley. However, the child was then taking them from the trolley and placing them in the bag inside the trolley, all “in her presence”.
She had other items in the trolley than those which she stole, and she paid for these items at the cash desk.
The Loss prevention officers pounced when she had cleared the exit doors, and asked to search her bag where they found the items.
The child declared that: “Oh we buy them at Randy’s, ” while his mother said they got the items from her gentleman friend, and that she did not know what was in the bag.
This story lost face when the MASSY logo was found stamped on all of the items.
Nevertheless, the defendant is said to have given a statement to the police denying the offence.
With the counsel of her lawyer, Michelle Fife, the mother however admitted to the crime.
In mitigation the lawyer told the court that the mother is trying to raise two young sons but she was widowed and is struggling financially.
“We’re asking that the court do take judicial note that the facts as the prosecution gave them signal that the child had something to do with the unfortunate turn of events that have resulted in the accused before you,” Fife told the court.
Interjecting, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett noted “that is of some concern to me, because why did the child give that answer.”
He continued that “although the child is a minor he has the ability to speak, which he did”.
Fife said they “are not able to say why he gave the answer he gave and did not walk on the side of caution and honesty.”
She said that although the mother is the parent, as well as the person who was standing before the magistrate, parents cannot always control the actions and responses of their children “regardless to their age”.
The magistrate intervened again, pointing out, that “she did not correct the child at that time.”
Mitigating further, the lawyer told the court that her client had a previously clean record, which given her age, amounts to decades of walking the line and in all the circumstances, she asked the court not to impose a jail sentence.
Prosecutor, Corlene Samuel pointed out that the mother had resisted having her bag searched, stating that “I don’t have time for this” and whispered something to the child.
Given the opportunity to speak, the mother told the court that when she realized the price of the ice cream, she told her son to put the items back, but he probably misunderstood and thought she said to put them in the bag.
The mother also told the Court that she was sorry.
“I try to raise my son in the best way and correct my son, and again I apologize, I’m sorry.”
The magistrate commented that he did not understand how the woman did not know that there were cameras in the supermarket as this is a well known fact.
“It is clear to me as well that the defendant must have known what was being done by the child,” he stated.
In the end, the 41 year old was bonded in the sum of $1500. If she breaches the bond she will have to pay the sum forthwith or spend six months in prison.
The defendant, who was said go have “levels of creative skills” was also ordered to pay $110.23 in compensation to the supermarket by February 28, or in default spend three months in prison.