Phone thief said he needed money for babymother

June 20, 2022

A Corporate Area man who stole a phone valued at US $1,600 (approximately J$242,000), admitted that he later sold it for about a quarter of its value to give money to the mother of his unborn child.

Leon Parker pleaded guilty to larceny by trick when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court last week and said that he sold the phone for just $65,000. The court heard that on December 17, 2021, Parker went inside the complainant's shop and was looking at the items on display. Sometime later, he asked to borrow the complainant's cell phone to make a call when he ran away with the device. The phone has still not been recovered.

"Why did you take the lady's phone?" parish judge Venise Blackstock-Murray queried. "Because of my child," Parker responded.

"Did you think about the consequences you are going to face that your child is going to suffer? You see something like theft, I have a particular view and if you are going to stand here and justify that you took her phone because of your child ... the lady runs a shop so you could've asked the lady for money. That is my view. So to borrow the lady's phone and she was honest enough to lend you her phone thinking that 'Yes, you may have a genuine concern or genuine situation' to have lent you her phone and you ran with it," the judge opined. Parker is also the father of a one-month-old child.

A social-enquiry report as well as his criminal records were requested by the judge. Parker was remanded in custody until September 29 when he is to be sentenced. He was made the subject of a fingerprint order and was advised to make efforts to repay the complainant for her phone.

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