The conman who has been swindling and robbing this island’s seniors of their money for the past few months has been removed from society.
He is 58-year-old Ricardo Cortez Browne, of Culloden Road, St Michael who appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court charged with two dozen theft offences, spanning several communities, in three constituencies.
A painter by profession Browne pleaded guilty to 13 of those charges, which occurred in the District ‘A’ jurisdiction, between August 23 and December 18, 2018, before Magistrate Douglas Frederick today.
His confession came four months after police issued a public alert for residents, especially senior citizens, to be on the look-out for a man targeting seniors.
In the docks today Browne admitted that he stole $100 belonging to Rosetta Rollins; $200 belonging to Anthony Thorpe; $127 belonging to Sandra Maynard; $300 belonging to Thomas Armstrong; $1,450 belonging to Alilga Marshall and entered the house of Jone Boyce as a trespasser and stole $470.65.
In the case involving Marshall Station Sergeant Carrison Henry told the court that she was walking along Welches Road, St Michael when she came across Browne who identified himself as Gregory Smith. After talking the woman into giving him $200 he accompanied her home in order to get the money. When she got there she instructed him to remain in the living room and proceeded into her bedroom to get him the money. During that time he took the opportunity to reach into her handbag and remove $250 dollars. Browne also took the $200, which Marshall handed over to him and then asked for a glass of water. But unknown to her Browne took that opportunity to go into her bedroom and stole $1,000 from another bag as she got him the water from the kitchen. On returning to the living room Browne had disappeared.
Prosecutor Henry said in all the other cases Browne concocted several stories to swindle and steal his victims’ money.
The confidence trickster is allegedly a cocaine addict.
“He has a serious cocaine problem . . . to the extent that he can’t stop stealing, so it seems. He had it for years since 1989 . . . . He is begging for help sir. Every time that this man would have been convicted he would have been sent to prison, clearly prison is not working. I think the time has come where we need to intervene, I would beg you to exercise your discretion and afford this man some help,” attorney-at-law Dwight Moseley said even as he reveal that he believed that Browne “was some kind of kleptomaniac or something so” when he first saw the amount of charges.
Magistrate Douglas Frederick said that it was his hope that Browne, who he described as an “intelligent conman” was not now “trying to con us” with the information that he had given to the lawyer.
Browne tried to convince the magistrate that was not the case.
“I have had this . . . for years . . . smoking cocaine. . . . I had [a break] for about two years . . . I went back and had a couple drinks with some friends I said I could smoke one and control it. It didn’t happen [and] I was back down the same road again . . . but I really, really need the help. I am so
sorry I have done this things. Cocaine caused me to do these things and it is hurting me , it is really hurting me,” Browne stated.
It was at that point that the magistrate asked him: “It is, so which part do you start to cry?”
Coincidently, tears gathered in his eyes at that moment.
But Frederick was not moved.
“Look how many people he tricked and you think he can trick me now. I know you going to cry . . . . that’s part of it. He is a conman . . . an excellent conman . . . but you can’t con me,” the magistrate stated.
Frederick then remanded Browne to Dodds to appear in the Oistins Magistrates’ Court on May 13 to face seven theft charges – that between October 27, 2018 and April 13, 2019 he stole – $400 belonging to Lucelle Pilgrim; $200 belonging Joanne Barton-Mullings; $60 belonging to Ann-Jean Ward; $400 belonging to Ianthe Stoute; $200 belonging to Sashell Greaves; $40 belonging to Glenvelle Browne and $300 belonging to Ronald Price.
Browne will also appear in the District ‘E’ Holetown Magistrates’ Court on May 10 on charges that between September 29, 2018 and February 5, 2019 that he entered the home of Norine Thompson as a trespasser and stole $640; and the home of Marcia Brown as a trespasser and stole a $400 cellular phone and $400 cash. He also stole $400 belonging to Arlette Rock and $400 belonging to Marion Roach.
He will reappear before Magistrate Frederick in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on June 4 for sentencing.