Leniency was shown to a mother of eight today, after she expressed regret for stealing another woman’s purse and using the money to buy groceries and pampers for her children.
Donna Frederica Husbands, 34, of Fire Hill, Rock Hall, St Thomas pleaded guilty to stealing a bag, purse and other items valued $377.95 belonging to Doriel Cumberbatch on February 5, 2016 when she appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court.
When asked by Magistrate Douglas Frederick why she committed the offence, Husbands offered a sincere apology, saying she had spent the $150 which was in the purse on supplies.
“I am sorry for doing that. I was wrong for doing it,” she said.
Further questioning by Frederick revealed that Husbands had eight children – seven of whom she supported – ranging in ages from two to 17.
She also said that because she was sick and her youngest child had a heart condition, she had not been employed since 2004.
Based on those facts, the magistrate told the first-time offender he could not send her to jail or even sentence her to community service.
“The best I can do for you is to put you on a bond . . . but you have to be honest and you have to be a role model for your children.
“You can’t go around stealing people’s purses, because how then will you explain to your children that that is the wrong thing to do?” Frederick asked her.
He then placed her on a bond to
keep the peace for the next six months. If the bond is breached she will have to pay $750 forthwith or spend one month in prison.
In giving the facts, police prosecutor Sergeant Martin Rock told the court Cumberbatch had visited a friend’s canteen and had a red drawstring bag in her possession.
A customer at the canteen inadvertently picked up that bag as they left the establishment, but on realizing it was the wrong bag, returned it to the guard.
After the guard refused to take the bag, the customer placed it on a table, where they saw Husbands remove it.
She was followed out of the Princess Alice Bus Terminal and told to return the bag, but she continued walking.
Investigations were conducted and Husbands was subsequently arrested and charged.
The bag and the items were recovered, but not the money.