KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Friday, January 10, 2020 (CMC) – A 28-year-old, self-employed woman, who staged a burglary at her boyfriend’s home, stole his shoe collection, estimated at EC$15,000 and then made a false report to police, has every reason to believe love is blind.
When she appeared in court for sentencing, Akitta Haywood had the EC$1,000 fine paid by the man, whose house she had damaged and whose shoe collection she had stolen. The court was told they are still in a relationship.
Haywood, a mother of two, who had faced the possibility of a three-year jail term, was found guilty of making a false report to police on November 21, 2018.
But she pleaded not guilty to stealing 21 pairs of men’s Jordan sneakers, valued at EC$13,173.22 and three pairs of men’s Nike sneakers, valued at EC$1,351, total value EC$14,524.22, the property of her boyfriend, Leif Joslyn.
But while the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court was told that Joslyn no longer wanted to pursue the charge on Haywood, she still had to face the consequences of having made a false report to the police.
The police said that in her report, Haywood said that she had collected a key to Joslyn’s home from his brother, and when she got to the house, she met a window in Joslyn’s bedroom broken and his collection of expensive shoes missing.
The police visited the house, where Haywood pointed out the broken window and took them to Joslyn’s bedroom, indicating where the shoes used to be. Other parts of the house were also ransacked.
But the police noticed that there was no broken glass inside the bedroom and that a stone was outside the house, but said nothing about this to Haywood. They only made her aware of the situation, after she had completed a statement to law enforcement authorities.
In mitigation, Haywood, who was unrepresented, told the court that she was frustrated after learning of her boyfriend’s philandering ways.
“The thing just keep running through my head,” she told the court.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett noted that it was not every day that a case like this comes before the court.
“This is new. Parliament prescribed three years for this — in jail,” he told Haywood, who began to sob.
“Madam, I want to teach you a lesson – a hard one too. Because in my mind, you have a criminal mind. Not all men are faithful. I am not saying it is right. You had two children with two men before,” the senior magistrate, said, noting however that in saying this, he was only talking out loud to rationalise his sentence.
He said that Haywood could not pay a fine, but had shown remorse. He also questioned, rhetorically, what would happen to her children if she was sent to prison.
“I have to do something to let her know what she did wasn’t right. I don’t want her to leave here laughing at us. Sometimes, they do that. They go outside and laugh at us.”
He then ordered Haywood to sit on the prisoner’s bench until the end of the sitting. In the end, Senior Magistrate Burnett fined Haywood EC$1,000, which Joslyn, who had arrived at court before the sentence was handed down, paid immediately.