A St Ann's man appeared before a Port of Spain magistrate yesterday, charged with stealing from his mother – a cancer patient, at her home earlier this month.
Christian DeVeaux, 31, appeared before magistrate Nizam Khan charged with breaking and entering into his mother's Ariapita Street, St Ann's home to steal.
Mary Ann DeVeaux was asleep when her son squeezed through burglar proofing bars into her bedroom.
She reportedly awoke when she heard a rustling beside her bed, and saw her son with his hand inside her handbag on the nightstand.
Khan asked DeVeaux's father, John DeVeaux, to explain his son's behaviour and his experiences with him.
The elder DeVeaux said he and his wife adopted Christian when he was seven-months-old and, because his biological mother was a cocaine addict and believes Christian inherited his mother's addiction.
"Any of us born to a mother like that would find ourselves in a very difficult situation," DeVeaux said.
"He had a very troubled childhood, he was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy and my wife and I have tried a number of different things to try and care for him. We even sent him to a special school in Jamaica where we heard they specialise in things like that."
DeVeaux said his wife was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and chemotherapy treatment has left her weakened. He said Christian uses this to his advantage to steal things from her while she is asleep.
He said while he loves his adopted son, he feels that imprisonment was the only option for him to be rehabilitated and said he was prepared to better provide for him, once he is released.
"I don't want him to go in jail for a five years, only for about 12 months so he can be away from my wife while she is like this. He needs food and a place to sleep and I can provide these things for him once he is released."
The younger DeVeaux has been convicted seven times in the past for similar offences of breaking and entering and once for marijuana use.
Asked by Khan, if he had anything to say, Christian said he was sorry for breaking the law and knew what he did was wrong.
"I need help. I have had a bad history with drugs and my mom thinks putting me in prison is the only way to rehabilitate me. I used marijuana, coke any kind of drugs."
Before passing sentencing, Khan said parents had an obligation to provide their children with better training.
"No good parent will want anything bad for their children. The best thing that any parent can give their child is the gift of good training. Love, integrity, decency and honesty. That is what will make our country a better place."
DeVeaux was sentenced to three years hard labour.