SATI Nathai, a sales clerk at a jewelry store was yesterday ordered to pay $23,000 in fines and compensation, after admitting she stole gold from her employer to buy Christmas groceries.
The sentence was imposed by Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington who said in another country, Nathai's hand would have been cut off. He added that she had breached her employer's trust.
Nathai, 23, of Ste Madeleine took 11 gold female handbands, valued $21,000, from D&G Jewelry Store.
On Tuesday, constable Parveen Rajkumar received a report and went to the businessplace on High Street, San Fernando.
She spoke to Nathai who said," Ma'am, I really take 11 pieces of jewelry.
"They were all handbands and I take them to sell them."
She took the officer to a store at RRM Plaza, High Street where some of the items she sold were recovered.
In court yesterday, jewelry store owner Usha Girish said the retrieved pieces were valued around $2,000.
Eight pieces were still outstanding, police prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said.
Defence attorney Annalee Girwar described the heist as "an act of desperation."
She said Nathai needed money to purchase groceries for the Christmas season and used the $3,000 obtained from the sale to do this.
Girwar said Nathai who had no previous or pending matters before the court, was remorseful.
Wellington ordered that Nathai pay a $5,000 fine immediately. In default, she would spend 12 months in jail.
She was also ordered to pay $18,900 compensation. Wellington gave her two months to pay, or serve six weeks simple imprisonment.
The recovered jewelry was ordered returned to Girish.