On Monday of this week, Mr. Anthony Ortiz, 30, and a 17 year old male minor, were remanded to prison by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith after pleading guilty to theft for shoplifting fifteen dollars’ worth of M&M chocolates and Snickers bars from the Puma Gas Station on Freetown Road on January 18 around 10:15 a.m.
They told the court that they were hungry but did not have any money to buy the items in question. Today they returned for sentencing and were told that they would be spared prison time but instead enrolled in the Youth Apprenticeship Program coordinated by Ms. Diane Finnegan.
The program runs for six months and typically participants are assigned a job as apprentices for which they receive a stipend of $100, from which deductions can be made for lateness, unexplained sickness, disobedience or absence.
The Chief Magistrate warned that reports on their conduct would be given to the court and if they fail to meet the conditions of the program they would serve the default term of six months in prison.
According to police investigators the men were arrested on February 6 after the manager of the station made a belated report to police.