IN AN UNUSUAL turn of events, the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court saw a man being brought before it last Friday, for behaviour caused by his state of complete happiness.
Shurn Rodriques, 37 years old of Arnos Vale, was charged with stealing just over $40 worth of items on April 26 from Massy Stores in Kingstown. He pleaded guilty to stealing two quarts of Sunset strong rum, two packs of Exotica fruit nut fusion, one tin of corned beef, and one tin of DAK chopped ham.
The facts given were that Rodriques was employed with Nature’s Best Bakery, a bakery that supplies Massy with pastries for sale. On one of his many trips to the supermarket to deliver pastries, he went to the back of the deli to collect a container. After picking up the container, as he was on his way out, Rodriques was observed by one of the security guards picking up items. The security guard saw the accused taking these items past the cashier and out the door. Another security guard was informed, and Rodriques was stopped, and a search of his person revealed the stolen items.
What was unexpected, was the explanation that the accused had ready for Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett.
The husband of 14 years to a mentally unstable wife, with whom he has one six-year-old child, told the court that he has a friend in England. Rodriques informed the court that he has been trying to get her down from England for the last 11 months. About three days before the offence, he said that he received a text from her saying that she would be able to come down. This text made the accused so happy and “overjoyed,” that he stole the items from the supermarket.
Rodriques had one previous conviction for burglary, which although it was in the year 2007, Burnett said was “indicating something to him.”
Prosecutor Corlene Samuel intoned that the case was a “really sad” one, while noting that Rodriques had been placed in a position of trust and had discredited the bakery. She indicated that paying for the items makes no difference.
The Senior Magistrate noted the cost of the items that had been stolen, that being $40.56. “He’s caught and he comes to the court, and he says allow me to pay for them,” he said, while asking the defendant that if he could have paid for the items why hadn’t he done so.
“I just don’t understand. He’s excited about his friend coming from the UK and that causes him to do this…,” he further commented.
When asked about his friend, the accused indicated several times that the friend was not ‘sexual’ and was just a close friend.
“Consider yourself a lucky man,” said the Magistrate, who had previously noted the mental condition of the accused’s wife and the fact that he was the sole breadwinner of the family, before sentencing Rodriques.
The accused was given a three-month prison sentence, to be suspended for six months, the Magistrate musing, “Why do y’all take those chances?”
Rodriques left the court a free man, for the time being, hiding his face behind an electronic tablet.
SHURN RODRIQUES says a text from an overseas friend made him overjoyed