THE mother of a 15-year-old boy who stole a gold chain to be able to purchase a pair of shoes has been blamed for her son's actions.
"Why is this mother bringing up a child who is not a gentleman? Up to 16 (years) he is under her care. He is under her control and guidance," Acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan said Tuesday in court.
Rambachan said that the values of honesty and love had broken down and this led to the teenager stealing the $7,000 chain and pendant.
"I would like the mother to assess her upbringing of him. Look at her guidance and whether there is need to modify it. First to blame is the parent and then the child if anything," Rambachan said.
The teen who pleaded guilty to the charge of larceny said he took the chain because he wanted to buy a pair of Clarks. He told the court he did not have the $700 to purchase the footwear.
It was last Sunday that the boy — a form three pupil — stole the chain from Dereck Scott. The incident occurred on Lord Street, San Fernando around 11 p.m.
A report was made and the boy was later spotted by officers.
The teenager apologised and took the police to the place he hid a piece of the chain and the pendant.
Scott, 54, later positively identified the items.
"Our citizens are not supposed to be going through this. He (Scott) has lived his life. He needs to be respected by younger citizens, not hurt and harmed," Rambachan said yesterday.
He told the boy that he had caused embarrassment to himself, his family and also to him (the magistrate).
"I am embarrassed when I see young fellows now doing something my generation hardly ever did," Rambachan said.
Attorney Sean Teekasingh said his client was willing to apologise to the victim and before the court the boy spoke to Scott.
Scott nodded his head.
But Rambachan said the broken chain will also have to be restored.
He was told that the single mother who was surprised by her son's act of larceny, was willing to do this.
Rambachan told the mother to try to refrain from hitting her child because of the incident.
"She is not to beat him. It is not going to work. Violence would just create more violence," the magistrate said.
Teekasingh asked for bail for the boy who will be sentenced after a probation officer's report is done.
Police prosecutor Ramdath Phillip objected to bail and asked for a chance to obtain records on whether the teen had any previous or pending matters before the court.
Rambachan agreed and said that it ought to also be ensured that the boy had not been placed on a bond in the past.
The teen was remanded to the Youth Training Centre and will reappear in court tomorrow. Rambachan told him during his days in custody, he should think about redirecting his life.