A language tutor, who admitted to a Bridgetown Court recently that she had used an identification card bearing a false name in connection with criminal deception, was ordered today to pay $1 000 in costs forthwith.
The alternative was three months in prison.
When Natasha Veronica La Fargue, 41, made her first court appearance to answer the charge, the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court was told how she presented a utility bill and a false identification card to a customer service representative (CSR) at a Rendezvous, Christ Church branch of a commercial bank last month.
The LIME bill carried the name of Melanie Taitt. However, when the CSR noticed that the identification card looked larger than normal and appeared to be fraudulent, she asked La Fargue her name and was told it was Melanie Taitt. The manager and the police were summoned.
When La Fargue returned to court last week, her attorney Samuel LeGay applied for bail.
However, Magistrate Douglas Frederick explained that by remanding the accused, he was not seeking to punish her, but to help her by getting to the bottom of things, since he could not quite understand how someone like her could end up in the situation she was in.
LeGay asked the court today to take into consideration the time the Guyanese tutor had already spent on remand and apply it as her penalty. He referred to her as “someone of worth” who had been “persuaded to do this act in an unguarded moment.”
LeGay also spoke to the presentencing report where a former principal, relatives and former students were all surprised at La Fargue’s commission of the offence.
“It is obvious you have made a contribution to Barbados, you being a teacher in the secondary school system. It is really unfortunate that you found yourself in this situation,” Magistrate Frederick told the tutor.
He also considered her immediate guilty plea and that she had spent some time on remand.
“You were treated like a first-timer in a situation which could have serious repercussions for your whole life,” he stressed.