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Magistrate laments ‘desperate situation’ of theft accused, 15

By Susan Mohammed

POLICE were asked yesterday to search for the relatives of a 15-year-old boy who appeared in court charged with stealing a cellphone from a physically challenged man.
San Fernando Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds made the request after it was discovered that the boy’s parents were dead and he had no fixed address.
The boy had been staying at the home of a La Romaine woman who was not seen in court when the matter was called yesterday. Two weeks ago, the boy pleaded guilty to stealing the cellphone from a man confined to a wheelchair, at a drug store in La Romaine.
The boy had told the court he stole the phone because he was hungry.
He had been remanded in custody, until yesterday when he was due to be sentenced.
However, when no caregivers turned up at the court yesterday, the magistrate asked that the police find someone related to the boy, who was known to beg at fast food outlets.
Magistrate Ramsumair-Hinds said, “The victim is in a vulnerable position but the young man is in a very desperate situation. I think the circumstances have painted a picture of neglect. So desperate that it has reduced the human being in front of me to base survival instincts and the court cannot shield its eyes from that.”
The case was adjourned today for a status report.
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