A two-year-old unpaid court fine has landed a St Michael man behind bars for a month.
Not only that, but Dario Romana Stuart, of 5th Avenue, Peterkins Land, Bank Hall, St Michael was also sentenced to an additional month at HMP Dodds after he pleaded guilty to stealing two bottles of vodka worth $119.98 and two bottles of wine worth $39.98 belonging to Massy Stores Barbados Limited on December 14.
According to the facts presented by Sergeant Rudy Pilgrim, management at the Warrens branch of the store was informed that Stuart took the mentioned articles from the shelf and walked out of the store without paying.
He was seen by a “civic minded” individual who alerted security at the establishment. Stuart was later arrested and charged.
However, before Magistrate Douglas Frederick could address the current charge before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court, the police prosecutor alerted him about the unpaid $350 fine which had been imposed on Stuart back in 2014. It was to be paid within a month, and carried an alternative of one month in prison.
“To my knowledge, my mother is supposed to have paid,” Stuart said, to which the magistrate replied: “Supposed is not a good word for you right now.”
Addressing the current theft charge, Stuart went on to explain that things had been “very hard” for him for during the past four days.
“Why not beg for a pack of biscuit and corned beef?” Frederick asked. “You have compounded your troubles. . . . There are alternatives.”
Stuart responded that he had planned to “sell back” the items he stole and pleaded with the magistrate: “Before you make a firm decision . . . I have a little work . . . and I have a dependent a little girl who is my heart.”
“I heard and understand you are in a situation, but you have to learn how to cope. You have said something that has pulled at my heart strings . . . but you don’t come with the heartbreaking stories again, you did that [already],” Frederick responded.
The magistrate then imposed the one-month prison term for the unpaid fine, saying: “That’s from 2014, and another month for the theft charge, to run consecutively.”