Heshborn Simmons [left] and Javan James
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
A rare case was brought before the court today, January 17, where two men were arraigned in connection with the theft of a goat.
Javan James, 30 and Heshborn Simmons, 33, who are natives of St. Vincent, pleaded guilty to theft before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards and were granted $40,000 bail signed surety. The men, who are construction workers, were also ordered to surrender their travel documents.
Prosecutor Sarah Benjamin said the complainant owns several goats and on October 18, 2012 he took them on the hill side in Nottingham Estate to graze, after which he left and went to the supermarket.
She said he returned later around 3:00 pm to the area where the goats were grazing and after noticing they were all accounted for, he went home. She said from his home, which is some 200 feet away, he can view the area where the goats were located.
Benjamin told the court that when the man looked over from his home, he saw the two defendants, who are known to him.
At the time, Simmons took up one of the goats and placed it in a white Suzuki jeep, which is owned by James, and they took off with the goat.
A report was made to the police station and an investigation was launched. Following the investigation, officers arrested both men at separate locations on October 21.
Benjamin related that during a police interview, James admitted that they took the goat to Long Bay beach and together, they killed the goat and divided the meat.
The Prosecutor also informed the court that the men have since repaid the complainant $400.00, which is the value of the goat.
James, a father of one, said Simmons told him that the complainant had a goat for him and that's how he got caught up in the matter.
Simmons begged for the court to have sympathy on them and said, "We ain't no thief. Yes, we were wrong, but he had a goat for we and he never really give us back so we took one from him, but we ain't no thief like that. So please have sympathy on us."
Senior Magistrate Richards asked Prosecutor Benjamin to ascertain how prevalent are complaints of this sort in the Territory. She said it does not necessarily mean that it came to the court, but where owners have complained about their animals being stolen.
The maximum sentence for theft in the Magistrate's Court is two years in prison.
The men, who were previously on police bail, will return to court on February 5 for sentencing.