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‘Hunger made me do it’

Man tells why he stole A sweetbread

COURT TODAY BLOCKA 39-year-old Goodland St Michael man admitted stealing a sweetbread and $2.75 from the Cake and Pastry Factory on January 4. However, Richard Eric Fields, from 1st Avenue Lennox, offered an explanation.

“On that day I was hungry, Sir,” Fields told Magistrate Douglas Frederick when he appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court to answer the charge yesterday. “I know I shouldn’t have done it,” he added.

Evidence led by police prosecutor Sergeant Martin Rock revealed that on the day in question, the establishment had some items on display on a table and a freezer.

A supervisor, who was keeping an eye on Fields, saw when he took a drink from the freezer before proceeding to the table where he removed a sweetbread.

Fields then calmly left the shop without paying. When the supervisor followed him outside and confronted him, “he just got on his bicycle and rode away,” the prosecutor said.

“How old are you?” the magistrate asked Fields.

“Thirty-nine,” he replied.

“And you never got in trouble before?” the magistrate asked. “That means something is happening with you, for you to wait until 39 to now start doing this.”

The magistrate told Fields it would have been better if he had asked the owner for a bread, rather than steal one.

Further probing by the magistrate revealed that Fields had not worked for a long time and lives in a small house without the basic amenities.

“I can’t let you continue with this type of behaviour nor I can’t fine you, because you can’t pay a fine,” Magistrate Frederick remarked before ordering Fields to perform 140 hours of community service, by April 1.

If it is not done well, Fields might have to return for alternative sentencing. The unemployed man was then granted $1 000 bail.

When his surety came forward, the magistrate pointed out to Fields that he still had some measure of support. His relative agreed that things were hard with Fields but, even so, said he was surprised by his behaviour.

After questioning the surety, the magistrate advised that even though he was not working steadily, it would be helpful to take Fields along with him to avoid a repeat of this incident.

“You have to look out for family; if he can work with you and get something – however small – to put in his pocket, it would keep him out of trouble and it is better than stealing,” Magistrate Frederick advised.     

8 Responses to ‘Hunger made me do it’

  1. Maria Leclair
    Maria Leclair January 20, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Had he asked for something to eat he probably would have been kicked out of the store. There should be a soup kitchen for the people who are going hungry to prevent petty crime especially for food theft.

    • Sisi Kitty Greenidge
      Sisi Kitty Greenidge January 20, 2016 at 10:03 am

      People can’t see past themselves. Honestly, this is getting really ridiculous.

    • Sisi Kitty Greenidge
      Sisi Kitty Greenidge January 20, 2016 at 10:26 am

      The thing is too, there are locations where people can go in Barbados to get food, but people like me who never had to rely on welfare and handouts wouldn’t really know about these places unless we have heard about them before. (I have seen one before but I don’t know if it is still there) Either that or their pride stops them from doing so. Speaking from experience.

  2. dap January 20, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Stealing is wrong but why take to court someone for taking a bread and a drink when these are things that have an expired date and if they do not sell eventually get dump or ee really that heartless, waste of tax payers money

  3. Lawrence Griffith
    Lawrence Griffith January 20, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Now let me point out something clear here that’s wrong with the justice system. First this man is a perfect candidate for help from the state.
    Look carefully how power hungry these judges and police are. Now if he couldn’t afford to buy a sweetbread and drink and the investigation into his background showed no job and living on the edge of society that case should have been dropped with a warning.
    After the judge hearing this man situation he still punish him before asking the prosecutor why he’s wasting time and taxpayers money and throwing out the case with a warning.. Where is he going to get $1000 dollars if he can’t afford a snack? Why give him 140 hours community service instead of asking him to use that time looking for a job?
    This is what upset me most of all is the people that in charge lack basic common sense. If you ask these power hungry thugs why this case come so far, they say just doing my job. The Nazis said the same thing when they were asked why they didn’t apply common law. OBS! Common law exist in every democratic society where as common sense goes before law, don’t matter what the laws say. What’s happening here is the police and judges are playing tough men on the job sending a message, while wasting time and taxpayers money at the expense of the poor..the courts are clogged up for a reason and you see the reason why here..

  4. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce January 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Wait…….the man is hungry, back in the day the bakery use to gave away bread, rock cakes, sweet bread etc that was nearing the sell by date. Barbados got some heartless morons. Times are hard. I am asking every Barbadian, Bajan to share and help the vulnerable every little helps. For wasting the Courts time Community Service for the store supervisor.

  5. Gina Harewood
    Gina Harewood January 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    It’s sad when someone is hungry causing them to commit crime
    Something needs to be done to help the poor people a soup kitchen or a food bank


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