Teen who stole from his father given a second chance
A 17-year-old who stole from his father, with whom he had a dysfunctional relationship, was given a second chance in court this week.
Khajique Sutton of Campden Park was brought before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on April 20 to answer charges that he stole from his father Kellique Ballantyne, a 32-inch RCA flat screen television, a gold chain with a cross pendant, and wireless Bluetooth headphones, together worth $790 Canadian dollars.
Also present in court with Sutton were his aunt and his paternal grandmother, in whose house he and his father resided on April 17, the date of the offence. However, his mother who is said to be working with the COVID-19 team in Mustique, wasn’t present in court.
On the day of the incident, Ballantyne left home to go to work in the morning, and when he returned in the evening, he discovered that his television and other items were missing from his bedroom.
He immediately suspected his son, and the day after the incident, police located the young man and took him into custody.
Sutton volunteered a statement to the police, and took them to his mother’s house in Fountain, where the items were recovered.
The young man told the senior magistrate that he took the television for his personal viewing.
Ballantyne said he suspected his son because of similar incidents in the past.
“…So from that experience I always kept my room locked…even if I’m going to the washroom, I lock my door,” he informed.
He also told the magistrate that the bedroom window was smashed from the outside, and that he believed his son to have “tried to frame it like it’s an outside job.”
Sutton was also seen coming from the yard with two bags, and something covered in green.
The father admitted his shortcomings as a father, that he cannot communicate well with Sutton and that he was in Toronto from 2011 to 2019.
However, an incident in November 2019 when Sutton punched his father in the eye made the relationship much worse.
“…Still, I forgive him from all that, my mom, myself forgive him from all that thinking that he will change his ways and attitude and not to knowing that this kind of intention, entering the room, and still denying that he wasn’t there,” he told Burnett.
The magistrate told Ballantyne that it was a terrible thing, and “It is also a terrible thing for a father to lock up a son. Both of them.”
Burnett considered sending Sutton, who said he had never been to prison, there for one week.
The father said he felt he would have to watch his back after this incident because of threats from his son.
However, the son returned that his father “said loud for the whole neighbourhood to hear that he don’t mind tekking a jail for me. He go do a Chocolate (a Campden Park man accused of multiple murders)…”
The father corrected that he only said “Chocolate goin geh repeat” if the son carried out his threat to call his wife in Canada and tell her certain things.
Sutton also asked how it could be expected that he love and respect someone who never took care of him.
“I catch you, so how should a reasonable person look at a good boy like you stealing from your father,” the magistrate asked him.
Sutton’s aunt noted that her nephew was left without parents when he was younger as his mother left him as a young child to pursue a scholarship in Cuba for seven years, during which time he lived alone. She said after the father migrated to Canada their relationship seemed to go downhill.
“I’m not a sociologist, I’m just a nurse and I don’t know what the child felt, but leaving children at a very tender age never being with their mother, or father, that plays a major role in children’s upbringing,” she opined, adding that she believes counselling to be necessary.
The grandmother also spoke of the discord between the two, noting that Sutton would probably go to live with his mother. She seemed unhappy about the entire situation.
In the end, the magistrate determined that the court would give Sutton, a young person, a chance.
“When you’re given a chance it’s up to you to determine whether or not you’re going to be better and do better,” he said, adding “It’s a unique case in that not every day I get a matter in court like this.”
Sutton was bonded for one year, in the sum of $1500 with a default of six months imprisonment.