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By Latrishka Thomas

A Gray’s Farm man will be spending a year behind bars for stealing a $2,500 cellular phone from a cart in the Epicurean Supermarket parking lot.

Ateba Francis appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh yesterday and pleaded guilty to larceny.

On August 15 at around 11.30 am, the complainant, after purchasing a few items from the supermarket, offloaded his shopping into his vehicle but accidentally left his phone in the cart he had been using.

The defendant collected the cart from the complainant, the court was told.

The complainant soon realised his phone was missing and searched for Francis but he was nowhere to be found. He reported the matter to the police and Francis was arrested and searched.

The Samsung Galaxy smartphone was found on Francis’ person.

The defendant, despite pleading guilty, was adamant that it was not an act of theft. In fact, he referred to it as an instance of “lost and found”.

He told the court he assisted in gathering carts at the busy supermarket and had noticed the phone while doing so on the day in question.

Francis said that he went home to take a shower and had planned to take the phone to the police afterwards.

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