Even though she tearfully begged Magistrate Douglas Frederick to give her “another chance”, a 56-year-old mother was jailed for six months today.
That was because Cheryl Delories Springer had a suspended sentence imposed on her by another magistrate in 2013 that required her to stay out of trouble for two years to avoid spending six months behind bars.
The crime she pleaded guilty to – stealing several items from Channell Supermarket – fell within the two-year window.
According to police, the Warrens Terrace, St Thomas resident stole tangerines, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes and carrots, with a total value of $27.89, from the Black Rock, St Michael supermarket on Saturday.
In examining her record, the magistrate commented on the fact that she had been coming before the courts on theft charges since 1980.
“You have been stealing a long time,” he said, noting that Springer had been fined on all the occasions before the 2013 suspended sentence.
“Sir, because I am not working. Times are hard,” the woman countered. “I am asking for leniency from the court, Sir. I am not going to do it again.”
“Have you ever worked?” asked Magistrate Frederick.
“Yes Sir, house cleaning . . . in 1983,” she replied.
Sobbing, the woman went on to say that she was the only one around to care for her teenage daughter.
“I have nothing and no one, Sir. I am asking for a chance, please. I did it because I was in need,” she pleaded.
“Let us reason together,” Magistrate Frederick then said. “Since 1980 you were shoplifting . . . I will not add any further time to the six months.”
The magistrate convicted, reprimanded and discharged Springer for the February 28 offence, but she will still be serving the six-month sentence since she breached the conditions of the suspended sentence.