Boy, 15, steals to buy school shoes
By STACY MOORE Wednesday, August 8 2012
A 15-YEAR-old student yesterday told a San Fernando magistrate he stole a $7,000 gold chain from a man in order to obtain money to purchase a pair of shoes for the new school term in September.
The Form Two student, who cannot be named because of his age, through his attorney Shuan Teekasingh said he wanted to get money to buy a pair of Clarks shoes.
“His mother did not have enough money to purchase a new pair of shoes,” Teekasingh told acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan in the San Fernando First Magistrate’s Court. The charge read to the teenager, who attends a school in south Trinidad, alleged that on August 5, he stole a gold chain and pendant belonging to Derek Scott. Prosecutor PC Ramdath Phillip told the court that at about 11 pm, on August 5, police officers on mobile patrol received a report of larceny of a gold chain at Lord Street, San Fernando.
The officers conducted enquiries and, the court heard, they observed the 15-year-old boy walking along Lord Street. Phillip told the magistrate the teenager was questioned and confessed to the officers about stealing the gold chain. The court heard the student took officers to where he had dropped a piece of the chain and the gold pendant. The piece of the chain was produced in court together with the pendant. Also present in court with the teenager was his mother. Phillip indicated to the magistrate that no tracing was conducted on the teenager since “the (computer) system was down”.
Teekasingh said his client had been in custody for a few days since his arrest. He also said the teenager’s mother was single and had two children. The attorney said the mother was willing to replace or purchase a new chain for the victim.
“Our citizens are not supposed to be going through this. This man is 54 years. You can’t just take the property of another person,” Rambachan said. It was only when the magistrate enquired what kind of shoes the teenager wanted to buy, he was told it was pair of designer Clarks which cost an estimated $700.
Tears came to the mother’s eyes as she stood next to her son in front of the magistrate. Rambachan, however, advised she should not beat her son for his wrongdoing.
“Violence would just create more violence,” Rambachan said. Instead, he told the mother to assess herself as a parent. “You can’t say I don’t know why my child like that, is ‘bad blood’ and call him a thief. What you have to understand (is) that there was a break down in two important values, honesty and lack of love,” Rambachan said. The magistrate advised the mother to assess her upbringing of her son and see where changes could be made. Rambachan told the teenager he had not only embarrassed his family but him as well.
“I am embarrassed because when I see someone at this age I was once at, doing the things my generation hardly ever did,” Rambachan said. In remanding the teenager to the Youth Training Centre (YTC) until his criminal record is checked, the magistrate said he should use the time to think about what he had done and to try and redirect his life. A probation report was also ordered. The case was postponed to Friday.