Man who attempted to steal 10 pound yam ordered to pay $50,000

A man was ordered to pay $50,000 for the 10 pound yellow yam he attempted to steal from a farm he worked on.

Appearing before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday, Paul Edwards initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of praedial larceny, but ultimately changed his plea after a lengthy discussion about the facts that lead to his arrest on April 24.

Reports are that the owner of the yam, Jason Linton, watched Edwards taking out his yam from the ground and then he attempted to jump over a fence with the crop, but Linton held on to him.

The police were called and Edwards was arrested.

“Did you go over to his property?” Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague inquired.

“I work over there, ma’am,” Edwards answered, as he explained that both men work on the property owned by a man only identified as “Mr Morris.”

“So in the night, you went over there?” Cole-Montague continued her questioning.

“To pick up back the yam, but I was employed there,” Edwards replied.

While still maintaining that he did not try to steal the yam, Edwards told the judge that he “dig out” the yam around 3:00 pm but he only returned to collect it around 5:30 pm because he was delivering “something” to the owner of the property. He said the police arrived around 8:30 pm.

It is alleged that when he was being arrested, Edwards pleaded with both the police officer and Linton.

In the police statement, Edwards was quoted as saying, “Officer mi sorry, mi nah dweet again.”

He then reportedly turned to Linton and said, “Jason, nuh mek the police them lock me up, memba we a friend and me grow you.”

Looking to get more information from the accused, the judge asked, “Sir, you did tell the officer say you sorry after them did tell you ‘bout the offence of praedial larceny?”

He answered by saying, “yes, ma’am.”

“So what were you saying sorry for,” the judge questioned him further.

“I did dig the yam but is never steal I steal it,” Edwards said.

After another round of questioning, Edwards said in a resigned tone, “I’m guilty ma’am.”

Speaking up for the first time, Linton said, “Him just need to speak the truth…I just want him to stay far away from me.”

Telling the judge that he wants Edwards to pay him back for the 10 pounds of yam, Linton asked for $50,000.

Edwards agreed and is to return to court on May 31 to pay the first $25,000. Conditions were included in his bail. Edwards was ordered to not interfere with Linton, to not visit Linton’s farm, and a curfew order was made from 8:30 pm to 6:00 am.

Candice Haughton

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