A St Michael man today made amends ten years after swindling a former client out of thousands of dollars.
Trevor Philip Applewhaite, of No. 19 East Terrace, Wildey, paid back $7,000 cash to Sadie-Leon O’Dell through the District Magistrates’ Court.
The convicted man had been on trial before Magistrate Douglas Frederick charged that between May 2, 2008 and January 15, 2009, he stole the money being the proceeds of a City of Bridgetown Co-Operative Credit Union cheque belonging to the complainant.
When he appeared in court today it was expected that he would have a witness to continue the case but instead he informed the magistrate that he had the money to repay.
That statement resulted in a strong chiding from Magistrate Frederick, who told him that he had wasted the court’s time when he could have pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and thrown himself at the “mercy of the court”.
Frederick who then found Applewhaite guilty of the crime explained that the convicted man had a piece of land to sell for somebody which another person expressed an interest in. The $7,000 he said was given as a deposit but Applewhaite, who was 42 years old at the time of the offence and an insurance agent used it otherwise.
“You used the person’s deposit and can’t pay it back . . . so there is no other alternative but to find you guilty, because you take the people’s money and use it for your own self,” Frederick said.
In the dock Applewhaite never uttered an apology but said that he had made an error in judgement.
“It was a mistake I made . . . in using the money at the time,” said Applewhaite who also claimed that he had been advised by his attorney back then not to plead guilty.
“I realised if I can afford to pay a lawyer, I could pay back the money . . . I would like to pay back the money today,” he said.
The amount was then paid in full.
Applewhaite, who is known to the court and also has four other similar cases pending was also given a nine-month prison sentence which was suspended for a year. He told the court that he was no longer in the real estate business.
He will reappear before the court on September 20 on the other charges.