A “well known shoplifter” who had 39 previous convictions failed to secure a reprieve today despite telling Magistrate Douglas Frederick he had been trying to kick the habit.
Fifty-eight-year-old Anthony St Clair Hunte of Headley’s Land, Bank Hall, St Michael was sentenced to three months in jail after he admitted to attempting to steal two packets of ham worth $10.60 and a jar of peanut butter worth $8.99 from Saving Plus on September 21.
The court heard that a security guard had seen Hunte picking up the items yesterday afternoon, but after losing sight of the shoplifter for a few minutes, Hunte emerged with the items nowhere in sight.
After he was approached by the security guard he removed the packets of ham from his back pocket and threw them back into the fridge. However, it was only after police were called that the peanut butter was discovered.
Twenty-nine of Hunte’s previous convictions were for dishonesty, and although he told Frederick he had tried to turn things round, the records showed that his last offence was committed last year when he stole perfumes from Duty Free Caribbean.
“I had put all that behind me. I made a bad error in judgement,” Hunte said.
“When the [prison] bus roll in I see all the young fellas that come down and I tell myself that at 58 I just don’t want to be there. I got a rude awakening this morning and I know that I can help myself,” Hunte said as he pleaded for leniency.
However, the magistrate told him that “old habits were hard to die” and that he felt Hunte could not resist, as he was a “well known shoplifter”.
He advised the convict he “can’t do your old trick” anymore because technology was evolving and there were camera everywhere, and while he might be on the right track he still had a long way to go.
“It seems like you just can’t help yourself. I hope three months in jail will change your ways,” the magistrate told Hunte.