A gardener has one week to pay the court a $750 fine or he will spend six months behind bars at HMP Dodds.
Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant imposed the sentence on Reuben Joseph John, 53, of 2nd Avenue, Newbury, St George, after he pleaded guilty to stealing a $97.99 bottle of vodka belonging to Duty Free Cave Shepherd.
According to the facts presented by police prosecutor Sergeant Janice Ifill, John went into the store on October 29 and was seen placing the bottle of liquor in his pants. He then walked towards the exit, where he was stopped by security.
The alcohol was recovered from John, who is known to the law courts.
Defence attorney Anya Lorde told the court her client has an alcohol and drug problem and had attended the Verdun House programme and spent time at the Psychiatric Hospital.
She also pointed out that his last brush with the law was in 2013.
“Rehabilitation does take time, Your Worship, and he is making an effort,” Lorde said as she made submissions for a lenient sentence.
However, Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant pointed out that John had 15 prior convictions similar in nature to the one before the court today, two of which involved the theft of alcohol.
“It is time that Mr John dig down in his own pocket so that the court does not have to continue paying for him,” Cuffy-Sergeant said.
She then imposed the fine and ordered John to return to court on November 7 to show proof he had paid the fine.