“You have to stop seeing people as victims, there to be pounced upon,” Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine advised, moments before she jailed a taxi driver for stealing a woman’s purse inside a supermarket.
Antoine, who presides over the San Fernando First Court, made the comments to Fazad Rahamut, 49, after he pleaded guilty on Tuesday to stealing the purse with cash and other items on Saturday at Massy Stores in Bamboo Junction, La Romaine.
Court prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said that at about 11.30 am on Saturday, Coreen Mendoza put her Guess purse in a shopping cart. She went on to take items from a shelf and about ten minutes later realised her purse was missing. It contained $1,285, two bank cards, her national ID card and driver’s permit.
The prosecutor said Anton Glover, a security officer, saw Rahamut acting suspiciously and only looking around in a nervous manner. Rahamut, the court heard, then put something in his pants pockets. The guard, who works for Transit Security Services Ltd, followed Rahamut out of the supermarket and later retrieved the woman’s purse.
Rahamut, who was unrepresented by counsel, told the magistrate: “What I did was wrong, I admit it, have mercy on me.” But on perusing documents pertaining to the man’s criminal record, the magistrate scolded him, saying he had a previous conviction for a similar offence. She urged him to stop seeing people as victims only to be pounced upon.
Rahamut also has matters pending in the High Court.
Antoine sentenced him to six months’ hard labour.
She complimented Glover for his keen sense of observation, saying he is to be commended by the Commissioner of Police and rewarded with $500.