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Woman claims she drank out $4000 of stolen cash in a day

Woman claims she drank out $4000 of stolen cash in a day
At Left: Carley-Ann Harris of Hamilton, Bequia

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A 30-year-old mother has cited frustrations from being pressured to have an abortion and other abuses as being somehow connected to her theft of $6,100 from her boyfriend.

Carley-Ann Harris of Hamilton, Bequia, pleaded guilty to stealing the sum from her boyfriend of five months (now ex-boyfriend), conductor Carlos Ollivierre of Retreat, Vermont when she appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court yesterday, March 22.

The facts are that Harris would visit her 31-year-old boyfriend’s home in Vermont on occasion, as well as sleep over there. In his home, on March 15, Ollivierre placed $6,100 in socks and a hat, and secured it before leaving for work. His girlfriend was at his home on this date. Ollivierre did not check on the cash until Friday, March 19, at which point he found that it was all gone.

The police in Vermont were informed, and the police in Bequia went to the defendant’s home. A search warrant was executed, and she was arrested. An envelope of $1,680 was found in her possession, as well as a white plastic bag containing braids, a braiding kit and a file.

This is the mother’s first encounter with the law. She works as a janitor and had been doing so for a decade, according to information she provided . She apparently received $500 a month for her services, and takes care of her 13, 12 and four-year-old.

As Ollivierre was the defendant’s boyfriend, the court was puzzled as to why she would steal money from him.

“Last year in November I find out I was pregnant and I told him I was pregnant…” the young woman said. In her family they do not abort children, she says, and explained this to her boyfriend. However, he apparently kept pressuring her to get an abortion. She said that she was frustrated as it was she alone.

Harris informed the court that her frustrations led her to saving her money and having an abortion.

The defendant also related about her boyfriend saying hurtful things to her four-year-old son, and threatening him.

“…It was really disrespectful,” for a 31-year-old to tell her son those things, she said.

She also claimed that he choked and slapped her.

“..And I hold that in my head because all my life I was bullied, I didn’t know how love really felt until the day I gave birth to my three kids,” Harris told Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett.

“I mean I’m trying to understand this because if the money was at his home and you were at his home and that money was missing, I mean clearly you would have been a person of interest….” Burnett queried.

The defendant said that she didn’t know the money was there until one day when she was packing away after she finished washing his clothes.

“When you took that money were you considering that it would have been discovered that the money was removed by you?” the magistrate asked her, but she said she wasn’t thinking at the time.

“Now look at the embarrassment you have put yourself and your children through,” Burnett said.

When asked if he had anything he wanted to say Ollivierre replied “Not really”.

Prosecutor Corporal (Ag) Corlene Samuel, as well as the magistrate, voiced uncertainty as to the connection between what the defendant had said and her decision to steal money.

Samuel also questioned where the rest of the money had gone as the police recovered only $1,680.

“Up to this time we don’t know what she did with that money,” Samuel said.

The defendant was wiping tears, and she did not answer when asked multiple times where the remaining money was.

Finally, she replied, “I just stayed in town and we were drinking.”

“So you drink off $4,000 in town?” the magistrate asked her.

“I promised the Lord to be extra careful with my comments…,” he noted.

“In a day? One day Miss Harris, one day?!” the Prosecutor stated, concluding “That is hard to believe.”

“Madam you have to come clean and clear with the court you know,” the judicial officer said.

“..She’s trying to get some sort of sympathy from the court but it’s hard to believe that $4,000 would go in one day in drinks,” Samuel commented.

“I understand that she’s angry and she wanted to get back at him, but your honour she stole this money he is now missing,” the prosecutor noted, and should be made to face the consequences. She observed that what the defendant spoke about happened last year, “…she had enough time to get out of the situation.”

Ollivierre revealed that he would like the money back. He claimed that some of the thousands belonged to his mother.

He also informed the court that the defendant gave $500 to someone, but the defendant forcefully told him otherwise, her manner prompting some surprise.

Considering all factors the magistrate’s first order was for compensation. Harris did not have the means to pay this immediately, therefore she was given until June 30 to pay $4,420 or she will have to spend six months in jail.

She is also bonded for one year to keep the peace, failing which she will have to pay $1,500 forthwith or be jailed for three months.

Outside the courtroom, Harris continued to wipe away tears.

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