The 12-month sentence handed down on toenail clip thief Farley Nigel Smith by an acting magistrate earlier this year was “manifestly excessive” the Appeal Court today ruled.
The three-member panel of Acting Chief Justice Kaye Goodrigde and Acting Justices of Appeal Margaret Reifer and William Chandler handed down the decision this morning on the case involving the 62-year-old Hothersal Turning, St Michael resident.
Smith appeared before Acting Magistrate Anika Jackman back in January and pleaded guilty to stealing the $6.99 item belonging to Massy Stores on January 15, 2019.
The facts disclosed that the middle-aged father went to the Health and Beauty section of the store, picked up the item, placed it in his right pants pocket, took up a drink and paid for it, but not for the toenail clip. He was kept under observation and after a search was requested the item was found and the police summoned.
Jackson sentenced him to 12 months in jail in the No. 2 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
However, Smith was released from HMP Dodds ten days later on $500 bail after Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim appealed the sentence describing it as “excessive”.
Pilgrim represented Smith pro bono as a friend of the court.
The matter came up for hearing at the Whitepark Road, St Michael Supreme Court Complex this morning where Pilgrim and Senior Crown Counsel Olivia Davis put forward arguments to the panel of judges.
At the end of the hearing acting Chief Justice Goodridge ruled that the sentence, did not among other things, take into account the principles of the Penal Reform Act.
The justices set aside the sentence and replaced it with the ten days, which Smith spent at the St Philip penal institution prior to the appeal.
That means he has served his time for the crime.