AN APPLICATION for bail for mother of three Michelle Cudjoe was yesterday refused by the magistrate who sentenced her to seven months for stealing a woman’s handbag.
The matter came up for hearing yesterday before Senior Magistrate Indra Ramoo-Haynes who said that she was aware that a notice of appeal had been filed in the case.
This was done last Wednesday by Legal Aid and Advisory Authority (LAAA) attorney Lisa Singh-Phillip on the grounds of severity of sentence.
With this filing, Ramoo-Haynes is expected to outline her reasons for passing the seven-month term of imprisonment and this, together with the typed notes from Cudjoe’s court appearance, will be sent to the Court of Appeal for a decision to be made.
In the meantime, Cudjoe could apply for bail before the High Court.
Attorney Singh-Phillip made reference to Section 134 of the Summary Court Act before Ramoo-Haynes yesterday.
It states, “Where an appellant, who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment for three months or more than three months, has given notice of appeal then, if he is in custody, the magistrate or justice whose decision is appealed against, or if that magistrate or justice is not available some other magistrate or justice may in his discretion grant him bail.”
Before leaving the courtroom, Ramoo-Haynes said she knew of the notice of appeal and what had to be done.
Singh-Phillip told reporters that the Clerk of the Peace at the court had been given notice on Friday of the matter and the defence was told that it would have been heard before the magistrate yesterday.
But with the bail not being granted, Singh-Phillip said that notice will be filed before the High Court and the application it is expected to be heard before a judge on Thursday.
Last week Monday, Cudjoe, 24 of Friendship Village, San Fernando pleaded guilty to robbing her victim of a handbag which contained several items including cash and a cellular phone.
She snatched the handbag while exiting a vehicle near her home. Cudjoe later apologised to the police and handed over the bag with some of the items.
She also told Constable Nanan of Ste Madeleine police station to tell her victim she was sorry.
Before the court she asked for leniency. She said, “At the time of the incident, I was in a desperate situation. My kids had nothing to eat ... I was going to try to get some money borrowed from a friend.”
She asked to be placed on a bond saying that there was no one to care for her children should she be sent to jail.
The magistrate said that she took into consideration that Cudjoe had pleaded guilty and this was her first offence before the court but said that the offence was a serious one and the victim would have felt violated and afraid.
She told Cudjoe that instead of a prison term of 18 month, Cudjoe would be sentenced to seven months simple imprisonment.