Caines urges magistrate to stay his hand
Digicel CEO Wayne Caines has made a rare return to the courtroom to defend an 18-year-old athlete who stole more than $4,000 from his employer to help his struggling family.
Aaron Perinchief, 18, admitted stealing $2,378 from MarketPlace in Sandys between April 15 and May 20 at Magistrates' Court on Friday, as well as falsifying receipts during the same period. He also admitted stealing $1,835 in cash from two Dollar Depot outlets between June 4 and June 13.
The court heard that Perinchief has since repaid all the money he took, apologised to the CEO of MarketPlace and is "exceedingly remorseful".
In a surprise pro-bono appearance to the Bar, Mr Caines sought a conditional discharge for Perinchief, a CARIFTA-qualified long-jumper and “promising basketball player” of Tele Lane, Warwick, whom he has mentored for more than six years.
Armed with letters of recommendation from the likes of Nadine Brown Evans JP, and Troy Douglas, the Bermuda national athletic coach, Mr Caines told the court that Perinchief, who has no previous convictions, was under extreme pressure when he committed the crimes and took the money to help his family survive.
“The Sword of Damocles is in your hands,” Mr Caines told Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner, highlighting the fact that, if convicted, Perinchief will be unable to pursue a collegiate basketball career overseas at Edward Waters College in Florida.
“Theft from an employer, in a position of trust, carries substantial penalties because of that aggravating fact,” said Mr Warner.
He adjourned sentencing to November 13, pending a social inquiry report. The defendant was granted $5,000 bail with one surety.
Mr Caines told The Royal Gazette after the hearing that Perinchief took the money to help his mother pay the rent and raise his two brothers.
He said he agreed to act for Perinchief because the family could not afford a lawyer. "As a community, we have to help those that need assistance," he said.