“For just simple $850,” as he calls it, a security guard working at the St Vincent Electricity Services (VINLEC), who stole from one of the employees, will spend six months in prison.
Forty-five year old Kensley Bascombe expressed disbelief that he could get a prison sentence “for just simple $850” while speaking to Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett before he was sentenced this Tuesday.
“Well it’s not simple as that you know. Don’t think it is simple, it is not,” the Senior Magistrate responded, as the audience at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court had to be brought to order because they were loudly expressing their own disbelief at Bascombe’s nonchalance.
“Let me remind you as well, look at the way you conducted yourself, you attempted to block out the camera,” Burnett continued, saying this was extremely aggravating.
The magistrate had been listening to Bascombe’s lengthy story which started from the “beginning,” which was the year 2017.
He told Bascombe after hearing the facts, “If you can’t trust security people, who can you trust? Tell me about what caused you to do this because based on the facts that were given to this court, you are facing jail this morning, and you have to come good to change this mind. So let me hear you.”
The magistrate was referring to the facts which show that the Lauders resident, on August 2, stole the property of Sheon John of Belvedere, administrative assistant at VINLEC. Bascombe, stationed at the Paul’s Avenue VINLEC headquarters, was seen on CCTV footage walking into the office at around 11 pm, and placing a t-shirt over the camera monitor, seemingly because he assumed this was the camera. He then went to the employee’s drawer, and removed a white envelope containing the money that the administrative assistant was saving in order to buy some personal items.
Although Bascombe had been working for Humble security for only seven months, he has worked as port security and at a Canouan resort. In total, he estimated that he had around five years of experience as a security officer.
The former security guard wanted to explain how he found himself in the position he was in. He informed the magistrate that he was “gunned down” in 2017 and robbed. “I’m lucky to be alive still,” he told Burnett.
After this happened to him, he said he was supposed to take a lot of medical tests, some of which he did take, and others he let pass.
When he attempted to get a job, he said they required a medical check up. “To be honest I did really need a job and I told the girl that I am fit, I don’t have a medical background because I really wanted a job,” he admitted.
He said that the girl was “honest enough” to fit him in at VINLEC. Bascombe said he started experiencing a lot of trouble from the damage he received from the gun, but he didn’t say anything because he was afraid he would be deemed unfit for the job.
“So I keep it secret…moving on…moving on,” he said.
He started to get some more health problems, and therefore financial problems. Bascombe told the senior magistrate that he has to pay for the rent for the apartment, electricity, water and Internet.
Bascombe apparently borrowed some funds from his brother, a Bishop’s wife, neighbour, and a church friend. Therefore, when he stole the money, he explained calmly, “I went and I touched up all the ends that I had.” “And the little that remained in the pocket I spend it, piece, piece…piece, piece,” he revealed, adding that he had a loan from the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines(BOSVG).
“My honour, I know it’s not right in the sight of God and man, especially the way how I’m a churchgoing person, it’s not right,” Bascombe said.
“As a church person, you would appreciate as well that there are consequences for our actions?” Burnett interjected.
“At that moment I wasn’t thinking about the use that the owner have this money for, I was thinking about my present situation,” Bascombe continued.
The defendant also calmly admitted that he tried to hide his crime from the police when they came looking for him.
Bascombe thought that he could be fined, and he was “willing enough to pay every cent back to the owner.”
“What I want is all the other security guards to hear about you, and they will know that they can’t do that again…do that at all, when they learn of your sentence,” Burnett said, and no begging would dissuade the magistrate from handing down a six month prison sentence.
“Security Officers, come on!” the magistrate said as the crying Bascombe took his place in the prisoner’s bay.
The husband and father continued to cry as he was taken away in police transport as his family watched.