Six months behind bars for theft
“The court has done all it can for you!”
With those words, Acting Magistrate Alliston Seale sentenced 21-year-old Shaquille Duante Va-Dahl Stoute to six months in prison when he appeared in court yesterday on his fourth theft-related charge since 2013.
Stoute, who resides at Lightfoot Lane, St Michael, had pleaded guilty on an earlier occasion to breaking into Diva Hype Bar last September and stealing brandy, vodka, nuts, mints and cash, totalling $557.14 in value.
However, it was not just the theft that concerned Seale, but the fact that Stoute had already been granted bail and given community service.
The court heard that Stoute had been assigned to the Bridgetown Fishing Complex to carry out community service, but his attendance “was infrequent”.
His explanation for that was that he had a job and had made that known to the magistrate who had given him permission to attend whenever he “get a chance” or “on Saturdays only”.
However, not only did the probation officer have no knowledge about that job, but Stoute never sought a change of schedule for his community service.
Seale told the young man that had he contacted the office, the hours would have been relaxed and he would have been granted more time to complete the community service.
“How are you going to complete the time when you are before the court again? There is no day-release programme at the prison,” the magistrate remarked.
“Some people think the system is unfair but it can only work with those who want to help themselves . . . and we have tried our best with you.”
And while the magistrate said he was convinced that Stoute had a problem with “dope”, the man insisted that he did not.
“I use marijuana . . . Cocaine is dope,” he replied.