Twenty-two-year-old Leon Mitchel, 17-year-old Cassandra Carbon, and 25-year-old Nigel Steven have also been fined $1,000 each to be paid within two months. In default they will each spend one year in jail
The three defendants appeared before Justice Brian Cottle at the High Court of Justice yesterday where they all pleaded guilty to the theft.
According to the facts of the case, presented by the state’s lawyer Wayne Norde, Carbon, who was 15-years-old at the time of the incident, was out of school and would normally be at Cools Lartigue’s home where her mother worked. According to Cools Lartigue, this was in an effort to keep the young girl out of trouble.
Cools Lartigue, who owns a restaurant in Roseau, went to work there at about 8 a.m on the date of the theft. Carbon also arrived at Cools Lartigue’s home with her mother around the same time.
Approximately one hour later, Cools Lartigue, the virtual complainant in the matter, got a call from the girl’s mother who reported that someone had broken and entered into her home. Cools Lartigue was told that a man named Mitch was the perpetrator.
Police Constable Carlisle Carbon was detailed to investigate. On his arrival at the scene of the crime, he noticed that eight strips of wood had been ripped from the closet door.
The virtual complainant later told him that a sum of money was missing from the closet.
The suspect, Mitch, was questioned and then released based on his alibi. Subsequently, Officer Carlisle invited both the 15-year-old and her mother to the police station where they were questioned about the matter until the teen finally admitted to committing the offense.
Carbon explained how she went into the kitchen of the complainant’s home where she took a plastic bag, then went into the room where she accessed the closet and took the cash. She placed the cash in the garbage bags and placed then in the garbage bins outside the house. She then called her friend “Shabin” to come pick up the bags.
Mitchel and Stevens were later arrested and admitted to spending most of the money on shoes, clothing, electronics among other items. Small amounts of cash were recovered.
“I just want to say that at the time that happened my mind was young still… I have a little boy and he just turned a year and that is not the kind of life I would like him to see his mother in,” Carbon told the court in mitigation.
To this the judge replied, “Your mother took you to work with her because you were out of school and she wanted to get you out of trouble. She tried, but it didn’t work.”
Meanwhile, Mitchel told Justice Cottle in his mitigating plea, “I just wanna say that I am sorry for the mistake that I have done.”
Steven’s lawyer, Julien Prevost, said his client was a truck driver who lived with his only child since the mother does not play an active role in the child’s life. He said Stevens was prepared to pay the money owed to the complainant and asked the court not to impose a custodial sentence.
Before passing sentence Justice Cottle said, “I don’t like sending young people to prison. I really dislike sending females to prison, but I am not sure I can do otherwise in this case. This was a very carefully planned burglary involving the trust of the complainant… Mrs. Cools Lartigue was uncomfortable with Miss Carbon’s presence in her house, but she said she is a mother herself… This is the way her trust was repaid?”