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November 25, 2014
‘Crafty’ Hunter spared further jail time

Peruvian Vale resident Molicia Hunter has been spared further jail time by magistrate Carla James.

James yesterday gave the 29-year-old mother of two until November 2016 to repay more than $24,000 of the money that she received from Guyanese resident Nathaniel Slowe, or face a maximum of two years behind bars, if she did not fulfil the court’s orders.{{more}}

Of the 12 deception charges, Hunter received a time served judgement on four; those where the amount illegally gained from Slowe was under $1,000.

Magistrate James determined that the 53 days the woman had spent on remand was equivalent to two and a half months jail time, and that a further custodial sentence was not necessary.

For the other eight charges, James ruled that Hunter should repay $1,800 by April 9, 2015, $1,950 is to be repaid by December 24, 2015, $2,000 by January 24, 2016 and $3,500 by March 25, 2016. Failure to do so would result in nine months imprisonment.

On the charge of relieving Slowe of $10,000, Hunter was ordered to repay the amount by November 24, 2016, or face two years imprisonment. On the remaining two charges of $1,800 each, Hunter was ordered to repay by April 9 and September 24, 2015 respectively, or spend six months in prison.

Attorney Ronnie Marks earlier this month interceded on Hunter’s behalf, and last Friday asked that the charges be put to his client once again, after new information was brought to the attention of the defence team.

When James re-read the charges, Hunter, who had originally pleaded guilty when she was first arrested in October, only to change her plea later on, once again changed her plea to guilty.

From May to August this year, Hunter was able to relieve Slowe of $26,650, by leading him to believe that she was white, and that her mother was sick to the point of needing to travel to Trinidad, that she worked at a bank in Kingstown and had got into an accident with another vehicle, damaging her BMW and the other vehicle in the process.

Hunter also led Slowe to believe that she was being threatened by the owner of the damaged vehicle, urging him to send monies for her to purchase the vehicle.

It was not until Slowe travelled to the mainland that he found out the truth, and had Hunter arrested.

Marks, in his mitigation, informed the court that Hunter was a 29-year-old domestic worker, who made a mere $500 monthly.

He said that Hunter grew up in abject poverty, and left home at an early age, which resulted in her becoming pregnant in her teenage years.

The lawyer told the court that through a mutual friend, Hunter and Slowe started communicating, and during the course of their initial conversation, Slowe told Hunter that he preferred white women and did not want to date black women, because black women “made ugly babies.”

“It was because of this, your honour, that the defendant became enraged when he made the offensive and racist statements, and for all the verbal and physical abuse she had faced over the years, she decided to strike back…” Marks stated.

Singling out Slowe, Marks asked that thought should be given to the victim, who had no problem handing over his money.

“He is a big ‘hard-back’ man, and his acts in the circumstances should be taken into consideration…. How could a sensible person believe that someone working at a bank would need money to come to Canouan…. In sentencing, we submit that it is rare that someone would act so foolishly….”

Marks also said that his client was no danger to anyone, and suggested that the time his client spent on remand should be sufficient for a sentence.

He also suggested that the victim seek compensation in the civil court.

While the magistrate seemed to agree about custodial time, she ordered that the defendant pay the compensation, totalling $24,150.

Magistrate James said that she believed Hunter’s actions to be dishonest, and that she set out from the start to mislead Slowe, and took advantage of his benevolence in the process. (JJ)