Former national cricketer 43-year-old Clay Samuel of Soufriere has expressed little hope in becoming the man “he use to be” after pleading guilty to stealing four tuna fish valued at $100 from a catholic church in his community between July4 to 5, 2010.
Samuel, who appeared before Magistrate Ossie Lewis last week, said that he vividly remembered the days when he was a cricketer but, “to be honestly speaking, I cannot get back like that”, he said.
According to the facts of the case presented by the police prosecutor, the incident took place during the village’s St. Peter’s Feast celebrations.
“Cleviana Jno-Lewis of Soufriere is the secretary of the Catholic Convent situated at Soufriere. She received from four different fishermen, four whole tuna fish which she placed in the kitchen. On Tuesday July 6, 2010 Cleviana noticed that the fish was missing and the matter was reported to the police…” the prosecutor said.
The defendant admitted to stealing the fishes on July 14 when he was informed of the report by Constable D Seraphine. Constable Seraphine had not finished telling Samuel about the report when he blurted out “officer yes, is me that take the fish. I went to Roseau with the fish and I sold it. I don’t even know the people I sold it to,” the police prosecutor stated.
Samuel told police that he had bought some food and smoked the rest of the proceeds from the sale.
During mitigation Samuel asked the court for leniency, claiming “I am a working person.”
He contended that he did not steal from the church, but from the parish priest. “It’s not actually the church … The tuna belonged to the parish priest…”
According to him, he served as a wicket keeper/ batsman on the Dominica Cricket Team and represented the country at least three times in his earlier years.
“I would prefer if you give me a fine,” he further pleaded to Magistrate Lewis.
Samuel was ordered to pay the compensation of $100 and fined $300 which he has to pay by July 23, 2010 or he faces two weeks and 10 weeks prison respectively.