By FARRAH JOHNSON
A man who claimed he violated the weekend lockdown because he was heading home after visiting his terminally ill grandmother was fined $250 yesterday.
He was one of several people who were charged with curfew and lockdown infractions in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, including two men who denied violating the emergency orders and had their cases adjourned for trial. Garnette Sweeting, 39, appeared before Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis after officers found him on University Drive around 10pm on June 5. He pleaded guilty, but said that he had only left home to visit his grandmother who was dying from cancer. He said he really wanted to see her because his dad died from the same disease two years earlier.
When asked why he chose to leave his house so late that night, Sweeting told the magistrate that he had made a “foolish mistake.” He was subsequently fined $250 or 10 days at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.
Meanwhile, Jamal Armbrister was charged after officers found him near Coconut Grove around 1.55pm on June 7. Prosecutor Lakesia Moss told the court that day, officers observed a grey Honda Accord that had its interior obscured by dark tints. They beckoned for the vehicle to stop and questioned the driver, Jamal Armbrister, who told them he had borrowed his cousin’s bolt cutter and was on his way to give it back to him. Still, Inspector Moss said when Armbrister was interviewed at a nearby station, he told officers he had left his house to get some gas from his cousin’s boat.
He pleaded guilty and was fined $500 or 15 days in prison.
Garfferinalie Saunders, 42, was accused of violating the lockdown after officers found him on Palmetto Avenue around 9am on June 7. He denied the allegation and had his matter adjourned to September 9 for trial. In the interim, he was released on $500 bail.
Likewise, Sonny Rolle was accused of violating the curfew after officers found him on Dean Street around 10am on June 6. He also denied the charge and was granted $500 bail. Rolle returns to court on September 9 for trial.
Officers found Sidney Joseph on West Street around 9.45pm on June 7.
Prosecutor Samantha Miah said at the time of his arrest, Joseph told officers that his mother had sent him to his aunt to get water for a young child who was “in need of water.” At the time, Joseph told the officers that he did not contact the COVID-19 hotline before he left home.
He pleaded guilty as he stood before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt yesterday, and was fined $400 or eight weeks in prison.