Last update: 04-Dec-2013 12:33 pm
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Judge allows bail for jailed bag snatcher
After spending three weeks in jail, away from her three infant children, handbag snatcher Michelle Cudjoe was reunited with them yesterday after being granted bail by a judge. Justice Geoffrey Henderson, presiding in the San Fernando High Court, placed Cudjoe on $50,000 bail. He told the 24-year-old mother to stay out of trouble and wished her well in her appeal against sentencing. However, Cudjoe did not leave with her relatives, who were at the court to greet her. Instead, she was taken back to the women’s prison in Golden Grove, Arouca, to collect her personal belongings, said her mother, Judy, who cried tears of joy. “The children will be happy to see her. They are missing her,” Judy said. Cudjoe pleaded guilty three weeks ago to robbing a woman of her handbag in a taxi at Friendship Village, San Fernando.
She was sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment by San Fernando magistrate Indra Ramoo-Haynes. Cudjoe, a single parent, said she stole the bag to buy food for her hungry children ages six, four and one. She asked the magistrate not to send her to jail because she had no one to care for them. Through her lawyer, Lisa Singh-Phillip, Cudjoe filed an appeal on the ground that the sentence was too harsh as Cudjoe was a first-time offender who had pleaded guilty. Cudjoe returned before Ramoo-Haynes on a bail application pending the appeal, but the magistrate refused to give her bail. Her attorney then applied for bail before Justice Henderson last week Thursday. The judge ordered certain things to be done and adjourned the matter to yesterday.
The judge placed Cudjoe’s cousin, Shivonne Henry, as her surety. He explained that this meant Henry would be responsible for ensuring Cudjoe attends court. Failure to do so could result in Cudjoe’s arrest and Henry’s property being forfeited to the value of the bail.
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