Man Sentenced To 30 Days For Stealing Broccoli

January 30, 2014

istock_photo_of_brocolliAppearing in Magistrates Court this morning [Jan 30] a 39 year old man was sentenced to 30 days in prison after admitting stealing almost 10lbs of broccoli from a farm in Southampton.

Vernon Symonds thanked Senior Magistrate Archie Warner for sending him to jail, saying: “Thank you. I’m glad this happened. I asked you last week to send me to jail for 30 days.”

This end of trial exchange followed Symonds admission of cutting and stealing almost 10 lbs of fresh broccoli from a farm in Hog Bay park in Southampton earlier this month. The broccoli was said to be valued at $23.

Crown Prosecutor Susan Mulligan told the Senior Magistrate that Symonds harvesting action was seen by a farm hand who had the presence of mind to capture Symonds action on his cellphone and then call police.

Later that day, police picked up Symonds on another matter and, when his bag was searched, they found a plentitude of broccoli. Further investigation turned up the farm hands complaint and pictures and Symond was soon identified.

Speaking to the Magistrate, Symonds said that he was, “Glad I got caught. Now I can get some help. Financial Assistance is no help. I went to BARC to get help for my heroin use.”

Symonds explained that he had been turned down for treatment at a recently opened treatment centre. He also told the Magistrate that, “I didn’t steal it. I took it. There is a difference.”

Symonds responded, “I see people who come to Court and get help. I see people come out of jail for murder and get a job. I need help. What am I supposed to do?”

Before passing sentence, the Magistrate said that struggling farmers in Bermuda complain of this as it is affecting their livelihoods. He then sentenced Symonds to 30 days in jail to be followed by two years probation.

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Comments (38)

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  1. TGAOTU says:


    “I did not steal it, I took it. There is a difference.”
    —> clearly this man cannot tell left from right.

    “I asked you to send me to prison last month.”
    –> sounds like a nice plan.

    “Glad I got caught. Now I can get some help.”
    —> clearly anyone who thinks like this is crazy. You go to prison for help?

    Financial Assistance is no help. I went to BARC to get help for my heroin use.”
    —> heroin heads and crack heads don’t get financial assistance, genius! Why would the government give you free money when you have a thousand dollar a week illegal habit, that forces you to rob people to support it?

    Secondly, how many useless people are getting financial assistance when they don’t deserve it? I starve almost every day sometimes I cry from hunger and I am 29 years old. Do I go begging for free money? I make poverty wage, but do you see me getting $900 cheques from government for food etc? NO!

    I am sick of hearing about people on assistance, getting to live it up when they don’t work or deserve it to start with.


    • Rackel says:

      But you have some sort of device to post onto the internet, whether that be cellular data or an internet plan. Which means you have a cell phone or computer.

      Yet you starve and cry yourself to sleep.

      Unless you are using a public computer or something of the sorts, I say you are in fact, stupid.

      As I heard once before in an assembly at school.. “We live on an island where everyone has a nice bike, a nice car, the newest cellphone… Yet they live on government assistance.”

      If youre starving and the gubment aint helping you out.. Then there must be some underlying issue that you neglected to tell us.

      • BOOM says:

        thats pretty ridiculous of you to say. Maybe he is using his computer at WORK to type and access the internet. And what would you know about paying bills and managing money as you are obviously still in school?

    • “You’ve hit the nail on its head” TGAOTU

  2. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    Ok,so I understand he stole veg,but when a man down on his luck has to beg to be put inside jail from the Courts because he cannot get the help he needs,then there is something very wrong with how we deal with people with problems in Bermuda and frankly,that SUX big time.

    • The Messenger says:

      How easy they lock up Black folks!

      • BOOM says:

        the man was STEALING which is a CRIME not to mention he was pulled over form the cops for ANOTHER incident which wasn’t stated in the article. If he wasn’t a heroin addict you would have no problem with his sentence.

  3. watching says:

    If he knows he has a drug problem, then why are we not addressing this problem?

    • more than enough says:

      unfortunately this mans drug use is a crime.therefore the only ‘help’ available is hefty fines, which he obviously can’t afford, or time in jail…which he wants to do already. the law is not a deterrent to this individual.
      just another glaring example of the failed war on drugs.
      i sure hope he gets some help before he, in desperation, causes harm to others.

      • If anyone is sincere in seeking help for an addiction then they should go to M.A.W.I. along with someone who are concerned about their well being and ask to be admitted. The simple reason being they feel they’re a threat to someone else…Someone that’s innocent.

  4. Fruity says:

    Ohhhhh nooooooooo

  5. swing voter says:

    I wonder who forced him to try heroin….no wonder these guys get beat up

  6. Why? says:

    You put a man in jail for 30 days for stealing broccoli (at what cost to tax payers?) but can’t put a man in jail for violent crimes? Remember Marcus Gibbings October 26th 2006? Murderers are free and veggie thief is doing time, what is wrong with this system? It’s a joke right?

  7. When anyone asks for Help, why do we so often say “WE” can’t ? Or it’s not our job to do that. Do we just put ourselves “above” others who have problems? And let that be the end of it? Bermuda is a Beautiful place to see. It must be a Beautiful place to live. But that does not leave out the fact that Humans that are living there do not have problems, and that they can’t be dealt with. And certainly the island is not that big to not be able to handle what goes wrong. Personally, I Love the Island. However, I have seen changes through the years of going there. And some of those changes are disturbing. I hope for your own sakes that you all have the courage to deal with all that you have, for believe it or not; you are more fortunate than most .

  8. buzz says:

    what a sad case of Affairs
    you have to get in trouble
    to get help. Wow

  9. Ain't NobodyGot time For That says:

    So basically your saying that broccoli cost apx $2.30 a pound, and this man is going to spend 30 in prison which works out to be .76 cents a day worth of broccoli …. Now he can have meals valued at apx $30 a day, off of tax payers money, not to mention all the other cost of a prisoner … Exactly who is being punished here? Our judicial system is heavily flawed!

    • Serious Though says:

      Cost $80,000/12 = $6666.67 a month PLUS the Judiciary and Police time

      Cost of broccoli = $23
      We the Tax payers always getting .. something i don’t want to say!!!!

      This is a Will i never article.

    • Legal Beagle says:

      So Ain’t Nobody, what is your answer? Don’t send anyone to prison unless it is financially worth it? You would be singing a different tune if that was the case.

      • Serious Though says:

        No job, addict need the $6667.67 help not prison time. The moral thing to do!

      • 'nuff sa-d' says:

        Not to jail, To MAWI instead. Hopefully this is in the works with the new court system heading our way.

  10. a photog says:

    Hey OBA and PLP lets fix things its a sad day when people in this country have to steal Broccoli just to have a meal at night

    • a photog says:

      and lets give people help who are asking for it

    • The Messenger says:

      As job losses escalate, stressors multiply, and tensions heighten brace yourselves for an INCREASE in crime of just about every description. Not all of the culprits are going to be apprehended. Bermuda is fast approaching that ‘survival of the fittest’ mode.

  11. Me says:

    Hope the broccoli had pesticide on it. Make him eat it till he is sick of looking at anything green. then make him eat more. The dumbest most useless excuses ever heard, worthy of Americas Dumbest #1 spot.

  12. Terry says:

    10 lbs of broccoli ….
    Now you know he was not going eat that.
    He could have sat in the bushes and did that if he was so hungry and eaten may 1 lb/less.
    Sell it, trade it for something…..
    He wanted jail. He got it.

    Now time to clean him up and send him down prison farm to work for a few bucks a day and food and lodging.

  13. Y-Gurl says:

    30 days for a $23 theft, I think that May be a little wasteful of our tax dollars, police time, court time, incarceration cost maybe a bit of an imbalance

  14. what says:

    $23, where they get that nunber from. the way things are right now you be lucky if that will get you 5lbs local grown too $23 for 10 lbs they must be livin in the usa

  15. farmers friend says:

    The point is he stole, it doesn’t matter what you you steal or how much it costs, it’s still stealing. He’s using his drug use as an excuse. And honestly, do you think it’s the first time ? Farmers in Bermuda are loosing $2-3,000.00 per week due to theft alone. ( Not to mention the chicken problem, but that’s a whole different story).

  16. Will says:

    Please oh please don’t send him to jail! Make him do community service for several weeks so the punishment really sinks in! Then we wouldn’t have to pay however much its costs to incarcerate someone for a month!

  17. Street bear says:

    Sounds to me like the guy was crying out for help, and this was the only way he knew to get that help. Incredibly sad. What’s the point in locking him up? Give him the help he needs to kick the habit and be a benefit to society. He’s clever enough to know he needs help. Give him a chance.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      He was full of excuses. He’s a thief. Put him in jail.

  18. randy says:

    your boy kept it real tho, he needs help he wants help , too bad thats what it had to come to

  19. Dog don't bite meat. says:

    I wonder who purchased the stolen broccoli supporting this type of theft. I feel for the farmers nothing worse than all your hard work being robbed by a lazy man. He needs help yes but too often these guys use drug court as protection making a circus of the judicial system.

  20. GoodIdea BadIdea says:

    Where can I get 10lbs of broccoli for $23? I’m signing up for this food program!

  21. godson says:

    Maybe, he could have worked for the farmer till he paid off the “theft”..its about $40..That’s about 2-3 hrs of work (or 1 day of labour for punishment) plus treatment for his illness(addiction) …This system is backward..they do nothing to help people…jus “lock em up” and hope that he ends up back in court-

  22. James Rego says:

    I happen to know Vernon (Chick) and have always found him to be very friendly and respectful. Until now, I didn’t know he has this addiction, which is very sad.

    During the course of one of our conversations he noticed a piece of jewelry I was wearing and advised me to keep it covered. If he is the monster some of you are portraying him to be, he could have attempted to take it, he had it in his hand. Instead he warned me!

    I hope Chick can get help and if he does, the most important part is to stick with the program. Or will he allow himself to fall under the influence of his mates at White Hill! I make no excuse for Chick, he did what he did and must pay the price but where some of you see a right-off, I see a decent person who for whatever reason took the wrong path and needs help.

    • That’s what he(and numerous others)need James, “HELP!” As I’d written earlier, he must go to M.A.W.I. and admit himself stating he feels to be a threat to himself or an innocent other.

  23. X man says:

    The Bermuda Judicial system – you just got punked [ LOL]
    Here’s a guy who is going o get thousands of Dollars worth of treatment for what! – $23 worth of goods [ lol ]
    Oh’ well here’s the run down – 30 days of 3 squire meals = 90 meals ,full medical Services and any Medication
    he needs that most Bermudians can’t afford, 30 days of Rent Free Accommodations, with showers, over $500 worth of Clothing, free TV, Security Services, expensive Consultation Services.
    Yeah ‘ we got screwed again! — all I’m saying is were slowly wasting that $800 million Dollars we borrowed for stupid
    stuff like this – he could have been made to paint or help repair a Govt.Building instead.