Last year, MASSY Supermarket’s “No vending no loitering sign” was plucked by a protesting 17-year-old vendor; an action costing the teenager a criminal record.
The Serious Offences Court saw Keevin Bibby of New Montrose being found guilty yesterday with stealing this signboard from the Stoney Ground branch of the supermarket on August 21, 2018.
Bibby had to pay up $60, the value of the sign, after he was ordered to compensate the supermarket forthwith, or go to prison for a week. The sign was not returned, as after removing it from the place it had been fixed, the youth said he threw it away somewhere.
It was the same day that the sign was placed, August 21, 2018, that the supermarket noticed it to be missing. The security manager for the supermarket checked the CCTV footage, and he recognized the defendant, who is known as a vendor on the compound, removing the sign, and leaving.
Bibby was picked up by the police, but he denied removing the signboard, and he was discharged. Last Saturday, he came to the Criminal Investigation Department “at the request” of the police.
He gave no statement, but was arrested and charged.
The defendant spoke of an alleged incident where the mangoes and cherries that he was selling were turned over by an employee of the supermarket when he turned his back.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias asked him if he committed the act because he was “vex” and he confirmed this.
The magistrate then asked the young man, who was tilting his head slightly upwards, and had his mouth set, if he was still “vex”, while telling him to relax.
She asked Bibby what he was doing presently, and he replied that he was at the Learning Centre, fixing small engines and doing woodwork.
After noting his demeanour Browne-Matthias added, “I ain going send you jail you know? Your face is a look of worry…”
“You trying to play tough, but I know you frightened, the frightened look underneath there…,” she told him.
A man in the courtroom tried to get the attention of the magistrate at that point, putting his hand up and calling. However, after being admonished by those seated on all sides of him, the gentleman halted his comment, apologizing to the magistrate repeatedly.
Continuing to address the teenager, Browne-Matthias told him that she knew that he knew that what he did was wrong. “And I don’t necessarily think … to kick over your produce was the right thing to do,” she noted.
She told that both he and the supermarket must make a living.