By FARRAH JOHNSON
A 44-year-old man was ordered to pay $4,000 or face one year in prison for violating the national curfew and operating a non-essential business last week.
Sean Pindling appeared before Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis after officers found him at his place of work on Baillou Hill Road around 2.30pm on May 1.
He pleaded guilty to both charges and was fined $1,000 for count one and $3,000 or one year in prison for count two.
Prosecutor Lakesia Moss said police, acting on information, travelled to Pindling’s business where he specialised in appliance repairs and propane installations. Pindling was asked to show proof he had permission to operate his business. After he failed to do so, he was taken to the Grove Police Station where he o fficers he did not have a letter from the prime minister giving him permission to resume his business. He also told the officers he was not aware of the 24-hour curfew.
During the hearing, Pindling told Magistrate Rolle-Davis he had tried to come back to work because his debt had increased. He said he felt if he didn’t go back to work everything would collapse because he had a child in university and he was the breadwinner of his household. He also said he didn’t know he needed a letter from the prime minister to continue running his business.
In response, Magistrate Rolle-Davis told Pindling he could have made an application to the competent authority because he would have had a great chance of being a part of the exempted group considering his field of work. He also told Pindling he had no excuse to justify him violating the curfew since information on the emergency orders was being disseminated regularly. Magistrate Rolle-Davis told Pindling he could not break the law and expect no punishment.