A St. Vincent and the Grenadines hotel worker who stole money from a member of an Indian delegation during her recent official visit to the island has been spared time in jail after that her lawyer pleaded at the last minute for her not to be imprisoned.
“Get up and start over. It will be very difficult because people judge you on your past. The penalty for this court is four months imprisonment,” Magistrate Bertie Pompey told 23-year-old Maruth Francois at the Mesopotamia Magistrates Court.
However, his lawyer, Grant Connell, who cited Mahatma Gandhi in his efforts to protect Francis from prison, told the court he knew a pastor who could be called upon to help rehabilitate Francis and possibly find him a job. so that she can reintegrate into society and start over.
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“We are all humans and humans are wrong,” Connell said as he asked the court to suspend the sentence.
However, the prosecutor, police Corporal Delando Charles, said he agreed with his colleague, the prosecutor, police sergeant Renrick Cato, who told the serious offenses court, that François should be given a ” brief and sharp shock” of a prison sentence.
He said with a suspended sentence, even if Francis commits the slightest crime, she opens the door to prison.
“She alone has the keys, but she can get back on track.
But Connel told the court the country would have to spend thousands of dollars to keep Francis locked up for four months and added that “there are bigger thieves out there”.
On Friday, for the second time, Francois pleaded guilty to theft in connection with money stolen from a room at the Beachcombers hotel. She later pleaded guilty, in serious offenses court, to a charge that between May 14 and May 19, she stole US$1,140. , owned by Anju Sharma, from Suriname.
Sharma, who works at the Indian Embassy in Suriname, traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines as part of the precursor group that organized the visit of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind.
Francois worked in the laundromat and as a room attendant at the hotel, he was tasked with cleaning Sharma’s room during her stay.
Missing the money, Sharma reported the matter to the hotel management.
The lawyer said Francois is now unemployed “she has to rebuild from that mistake. She expressed remorse and told me personally that she would have personally apologized to Sharma if she had been here.