By FARRAH JOHNSON
SEVERAL people were ordered to pay a $500 fine or face three months in prison after they pleaded guilty to violating the national curfew or the weekend lockdown recently implemented by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis.
Tyrone Haven, 39, appeared before Magistrate Andrew Forbes charged with violating the lockdown after police found him near Cordeaux Avenue around 11.16pm on Saturday.
During the arraignment, he told the judge his father was diagnosed with colon cancer a few months ago and had to take pills. He insisted that he had only left his house to get food from a friend who lived “on the other street” so that his father could take his medication.
In response, the judge told him he should have called the COVID-19 hotline to let officials know he was having a medical emergency. When the defendant indicated that he was unaware of the hotline, Magistrate Forbes told him he had a responsibility to pay attention to what is going on in the country. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine or face three months in prison.
Delroy Murphy, 35, was also charged with violating the national curfew after police found him on the street around 9.26pm on Monday.
Prosecutor Bridgette Strapp told the court on the night in question, Murphy told police he was coming from his girlfriend’s residence.
When given an opportunity to speak, Murphy disagreed with the facts and told Magistrate Forbes that during the interview with police, he told the officers he was heading back home after going to his uncle’s house for food because he lived in an abandoned home with no electricity.
He too was fined $500 or, in default, will serve three months in prison.
Cordell Cooper, 28, also pleaded guilty to violating the national curfew after police found him near Golf Course Boulevard and Charles Saunders Highway around 10.45pm on Monday.
Sgt Strapp said that night, officers observed a Mitsubishi driving west on Charles Saunders Highway. When the vehicle was stopped for questioning, the driver told officers he had just come from a party out west and was heading to another one. He was fined $500 as well.
Daniel Burrows was also charged for violating the lockdown after police found him near Robinson Road around 9.45pm on Saturday.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and the matter was adjourned to June 24 for trial. In the interim, Burrows was released on $500 bail.
Edvardo Evans, 33, was charged for violating the curfew after the police found him on East Bay Street around 10pm on Monday.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and when given an opportunity to speak, told the judge he was at a hotel room with his cousin, her boyfriend and another female when he decided to leave after he had a disagreement with the female friend. Evans said he wanted to call the COVID-19 hotline but was not able to because he did not have minutes on his cell phone. Insisting he never meant to disrespect the law, he told the judge he was originally from Grand Bahama and had only moved to Nassau in an effort to “get his life together” and begged for mercy.
As a result, Magistrate Forbes fined him $350 or two months in prison.