$5000 fine for coffee thief ridiculous - Grant

April 07, 2016
coffee beans
Norman Grant

Following a sentence handed down by a iudge in the Kingston Parish Court on Tuesday, president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Norman Grant, says that an amendment ought to be made to the Praedial Larceny (Prevention) Act to bring perpetrators to true justice.

Lorenzo Walker, who was accused of stealing a quantity of coffee, was sentenced to not only pay a fine of $5,000 but ordered to serve 30 days behind bars in addition. He also faces six months imprisonment if he defaults on the payment.

According to the Crown, on the day of the incident, the accused man reportedly made his way to farmlands in St Andrew and made off with one and a half bags of coffee valued at approximately $3,000.

But the sentence handed down by Judith Pusey, the parish judge, was met with disapproval by Grant, who is also a farmer.

"From the JAS, we are not so interested in confinement," he said. "We have always placed a view that the charge for stealing from farmers must be significant,"

"I am calling for an amendment of the Praedial Larceny Act and the Agricultural Produce Act to have it subject to the Proceeds of Crime Act," Grant said.

"So when you bring him (an accused person) to the court, you charge him [justly]. The fine of a $5,000 is ridiculous. You should charge him a meaningful fine," he said.

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