‘Evil spirits’ made him do it
HE SAID HE WAS OVERTAKEN by supernatural powers, and they caused him to snatch a woman’s chain from around her neck.
With tears streaming down his face and a bowed head, Winfield Garvette Sam was led out of the District “A” Magistrates’ Court, in the custody of immigration officials yesterday, to be deported to his homeland St Vincent.
Moments before, the 33-year-old, of no fixed place of abode, had pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cannabis and stealing a gold chain and pendant, valued at $1 500 from Coralita Price-Branker. Both incidents occurred on Tuesday.
The court heard that while the 75-year-old Price-Branker was sitting at the bus stop opposite Divi Southwinds Hotel in Christ Church, waiting on the Speightstown bus, Sam approached her, snatched the chain from her neck and ran away.
A Barbados Defence Force vehicle, packed with soldiers, saw what happened and gave chase. They apprehended Sam and took him to Worthing Police Station. When they searched him, a partially burnt cigarette, containing vegetable matter, suspected to be cannabis, was found. He admitted it was his.
Prosecutor Sergeant Cameron Gibbons added that Sam said he was sorry, and that evil spirits had made him do it. The chain was recovered, minus the pendant as it had broken off, and a restitution order was made.
Sam told Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant that he had contracted leptospirosis, had been warded at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for three weeks and had fallen on some hard times.
“A supernatural power come over me and told me to take the chain and sell it . . . . Me lost control of meself. I ask for leniency, and I tell the officers me ah sorry . . . . And the weed, it nah no weed; is little fanta mix up . . . . Me can’t believe me do foolishness and get meself mix up in this,” he said.
However, an immigration officer informed the court that Sam had entered the island as a visitor in April, and had been granted a six-month stay. He had not sought to extend it and thus was here illegally.
Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant convicted, reprimanded and discharged Sam on both counts, and turned him over to the waiting immigration officials.