One less cocktail during the day and a visitor to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) may not have made the unfortunate decision to take an Ipad that did not belong to her, according to her lawyer.
Cori Breidenbach of the United States (US) was charged with stealing a silver Ipad worth $2,000 and one black bag, the case for the Ipad, valued at $300, from Andrew Mitchell of Hope Estate, Bequia.
Breidenbach pleaded guilty to the stealing the possessions of the owner of Marinerâs Bar, when she was brought before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias at the Serious Offences Court, last Wednesday.
At 3:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday at the popular establishment, the owner had got up from his table to talk to a customer, leaving his Ipad and its case on the table. The defendant and her husband are then said to have walked in, Briedenbach sitting at the table with the ownerâs belongings and placing her handbag there. Shortly afterwards, she left with her husband, taking up the tablet and the case, along with her handbag. Mitchell complained to the police when he realized the absence of the items and upon checking the security camera recording, observed the defendant taking them. Briedenbach was arrested the following day and brought to court.
Defense lawyer Richard Williams called the whole situation âunfortunateâ. He said his client was a 55-year-old retired project manager, who had been sailing through the Caribbean.
He said she went to the famous bar in Bequia, which was âquite famous for its rum punchesâ and when drinking she noticed a tablet. He said that, she âassumed, quite drunk, that his Ipad was forgotten by another customer and she decided to take it up.â
A first-timer to the court, he claimed, although admitting that this was difficult to prove âin the circumstances,â seeing that she was in transit.
âWhen the facts of the case were given to me, it struck me,â that persons have to be so careful when drinking, âbecause I know many a person would have fallen into a similar trap.â
He continued that in the circumstances all he could ask was that the court be lenient and a fine imposed, âof some modestyâ.
The Chief Magistrate chose to do just this, imposing a fine of $400, in default of which two months would be spent in prison and that the Ipad and its case be restored to Mitchell.(KR)