THE 15-year-old boy who made a tear-jerking claim in court on Wednesday that he was an orphan who never went to school admitted yesterday his mother was alive and he had dropped out of primary school.
The teenager had appeared before Magistrate Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds two weeks ago, charged with stealing a cellphone from a man who is physically challenged, and pleaded guilty.
On Wednesday, the boy was due to be sentenced, but when no parent or guardian turned up in court on his behalf, he told Ramsumair-Hinds his parents were dead and he stole because he was hungry.
Ramsumair-Hinds said she saw the teenager as “vulnerable” and “in a desperate situation”.
Yesterday when the magistrate learned the defendant had not been truthful to her, she said: “I do not know what is operating in your mind, but we are going to get to the bottom of it. I do not know what caused you to say your mother is dead. I would appreciate it if you do not lie anymore.”
A police constable who was asked to investigate the claims made by the boy told the court yesterday the teen had been staying with a female friend of his mother’s but had left because he was being disrespectful.
The woman told the officer the boy’s mother was alive, lived in Pleasantville and had other children.
Ramsumair-Hinds told prosecutor Sgt Gordon Maharaj, Mohammed and other police officers in court that the boy’s mother needed to be found and brought to court.
“If we find your mother, there is a possibility that you could go with her. Or you can go back to YTC (Youth Training Centre) until we work out some other things. But the lie you told yesterday has gotten you into further trouble,” said the magistrate.
Ramsumair-Hinds ordered a probation officer’s report and adjourned the case for one week. She told the teen to be truthful when interviewed by the probation officer.