Construction worker ordered to  compensate farmer for stolen oranges
From the Courts, News
September 8, 2023

Construction worker ordered to compensate farmer for stolen oranges

A construction worker has been spared a jail sentence and ordered to compensate a farmer $1000 for oranges he stole from him.

Kimroy Peters, 20 of South Rivers was brought before Magistrate John Ballah at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, September 6.

Peters pleaded guilty to stealing 94 oranges valued EC$235 from Warren Barnwell, a resident of Lowmans Windward.

Barnwell is the owner of farm lands at South Rivers. When he left his land on September 1, 2023 everything was in order. He returned on September 5 around at 8 am and discovered that oranges were missing from his trees.

After making enquiries, he received information about who many have gone onto his property and picked his oranges.

He reported the matter to the Colonaire Police Station who responded immediately. The police then went to South Rivers and met Peters not too far from Barnwell’s land, attempting to catch a van heading in the direction of Kingstown. He was carrying a large bag of oranges.

An officer approached Peters and informed him of his investigations. The officer arrested Peters under suspicion and took him back to the Colonaire Police Station along with the bag of oranges.

Peters was cautioned and interviewed. He made a statement to the police admitting to entering the property of Barnwell, and taking his oranges without his permission.

Prosecutor Corlene Samuel gave no antecedents for Peters.

Barnwell told the court that Peters actions have placed “a lot” of financial weight on him. He said he operates on a busy program, and the entire process of having to work alongside the police as well as appearing in court has disrupted his schedule, and cost him his time and money.

Peters in his defence said his mother died last month so he stole the oranges in order to sell them and “make a hustle.”

Magistrate John Ballah said when he considered the mitigating factors of the offence and offender, as well as Peters’ guilty plea, the sentencing guidelines suggested a custodial sentence of five months imprisonment.

However upon considering Peters age and that he is a first time offender, Ballah decided to give Peter “a chance to make things right” and so deviated from the sentencing guidelines and ordered Peters to compensate Barnwell $1000 to be paid in five months with a default of five months imprisonment.

Peters was also placed on a one year bond in the sum of $1500, which if he defaults will result in six months imprisonment.