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$350 Fine For Going To Get Food For Mother

By FARRAH JOHNSON

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

A 37-year-old man was fined $350 for violating the curfew after claiming he was trying to go to his neighbour's house to get food for his mother.

He was one of several who appeared in Magistrate's Court for curfew and lockdown violations, including two men who were also charged for deceiving officers while they were on duty.

Herbert Morrison appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt after officers found him in Pinewood Gardens around 9.20pm on June 4. He pleaded guilty, but said he had only violated the curfew because he was trying to get food for his mother. During the hearing, Morrison told the magistrate that the gas in their house was off and they had nothing to eat.

He claimed he had just gone "five houses over" after his neighbour told him he could come for some food. Morrison said he was not aware of the time and did not realise it was late when he went outdoors. In response, Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt told him while she considered his "noble intention" in trying to get food for his mother, the lockdown was designed to help the country curve the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was subsequently fined $350 or six weeks at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

Meanwhile, Mackinson Felix, 18, was charged after officers found him on Zion Boulevard around 9.45pm on June 8. He was also charged for deceiving a public officer that same night. He pleaded guilty to both counts and was fined $400 for violating the curfew and another $700 for giving a false statement to a police officer.

If he fails to pay the fines, he will spend eight week at BDCS.

Prosecutor Samantha Miah said on the night in question, Police Constable 3925 Forbes was performing static duties in the Baillou Hill Road area when he observed the defendant driving west in a Honda Accord.

Sgt Miah said PC Forbes then beckoned for the vehicle to stop and asked the driver to identify himself. At the time, Felix told the officer his name was Adrian Munroe. He was then asked why he was outdoors during the curfew and told PC Forbes that he just realised he was having mechanical issues minutes before he was stopped.

He was subsequently arrested and taken to a nearby station.

During an interview with police there, he admitted to the offences and said he only lied because he panicked and was under the influence of alcohol. During the hearing, Magistrate Fergsuon-Pratt told Felix he should never seek to mislead an officer.

Tyree Johnson, 26, also appeared before Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis after officers found him on Tonique Williams Darling Highway around 12.20am on June 9. He was also charged with lying to a police officer on the morning of his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to both counts and was fined $500 for violating the curfew and another $500 for deceiving a public officer. If he fails to pay the fines he will spend two months in prison.

Prosecutor Kenny Thompson said that morning, officers on point duty observed a male driving east in a blue Nissan Cube. They beckoned for the vehicle to stop and questioned the lone male occupant who told them he had just left his Airbnb and thought the curfew was over.

Sgt Thompson said at the time, Johnson told the officers that his name was Sharad Wilson. He was later arrested and taken to the Grove Police Station.

When he was searched there, officers discovered a bank card in the name Tyree Johnson. During an interview with police, Johnson admitted to the offences, but said he wasn't aware which area he was in and was under the impression that the curfew was over.

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