By FARRAH JOHNSON
A SPANISH man was fined $400 yesterday after he claimed he violated the recent weekend lockdown because he was not aware of the emergency orders and saw people jogging outside.
He was among several people who appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt for curfew and lockdown infractions.
Anderson Mora, 20, was charged after officers found him near Goodman’s Bay Beach on Friday, June 5. He pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or six weeks at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.
Prosecutor Samatha Miah said Mora told officers he saw people outside jogging so he came outside as well. During the hearing, Mora also told the magistrate through a translator that he was not aware of the curfew last Friday and thought it was okay to go outdoors since he saw other people outside. In response, Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt told the defendant ignorance of the law was not an excuse. She also told him that although The Bahamas may not be his native land, he still had a duty to know what the law was.
Meanwhile, Hayden Smiler, 39, was charged after officers found him on University Drive around 1.15am. Sgt Miah said at the time of his arrest, the New Zealand native told officers he went to check on his daughter because his wife called him and said she was suffering from an asthma attack. He was fined $500 or six weeks at BDCS.
Kenrick Knowles, 30, was charged after officers found him on Gladstone Road around 11.40pm. He pleaded guilty to violating the curfew and was fined $400 or six weeks in prison. Sgt Miah said at the time of Knowles’ arrest, he told officers he was going to see his children’s mother.
Officers found Fenes Osne, 57, on Soldier Road around 8am on June 7. At the time, Osne said he was on his way to pick up a friend to fix the gas wire for his stove. He pleaded guilty in court yesterday and was fined $400 or one month in prison.
Everson Charlot, 41, was charged after officers found him on Plantol Street around 12.10am on June 6. He pleaded guilty and was fined $500 which he paid the same day. When given an opportunity to speak during the hearing, Charlot told the magistrate he only went outside because he had heard a noise and wanted to see what it was. He said he did not realise that he had ventured some distance away from his residence. In response, Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt asked him why he did not mind his business and stay home. She also told the defendant that the court had to fine him because he couldn’t break the rules and avoid paying the consequence.