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Accused of stealing bag of cilantro and unable to pay $20 toward old $60 fine, elderly man remanded to jail

Posted: Monday, June 10, 2024. 6:55 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Maurice Glenford Matthews, a 65-year-old street vendor, appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, claiming police brutality while in custody for alleged theft. Matthews, of New Road, Belize City, was charged with stealing a $100 bag of cilantro from Ishmael Gustavo Camal near Pound Yard Market on June 3, 2024.

Matthews, representing himself, pleaded not guilty despite initially indicating he would plead guilty with an explanation. He claimed he had paid Camal’s son $50 for the cilantro and was wrongfully accused. The prosecution presented surveillance footage of the theft, but Matthews maintained his innocence.

Bail was set at $800, but Matthews struggled with an additional $60 debt from traffic offenses dating back to 2017. The magistrate required him to pay at least $20 towards this debt before posting bail. Bail conditions include no contact with the complainant or his family and staying 100 yards away from them and their market stall.

Matthews’ next court appearance is scheduled for July 24, 2024.

 

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