By Farah Johnson
A MAN who claimed he violated the national curfew because he was trying to take his aunt to the Princess Margaret Hospital for her dialysis treatment was fined $400 on Friday.
He was among several people who appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes for curfew and lockdown violations, including a man whose car mirror hit an officer at a checkpoint.
Carvel Johnson, 27, was charged after officers found him on Nassau Street around 12.35am on May 27. He pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or two months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services. Prosecutor Lincoln McKenzie said when officers stopped and questioned the defendant that night, he told them his lights were off and that he was going by his mother for the rest of the night. While being interviewed by police, Johnson also told officers he was trying to drop his aunt to PMH because she “wanted to be there for 4am so that she could get there right away".
During the hearing, Johnson insisted that he was just trying to drop his aunt, who was a dialysis patient, to the hospital. He also showed the magistrate a letter from PMH confirming his aunt’s condition. Still, Magistrate Forbes noted that the letter stated that the hospital would be open from 5am-9pm for patients. He also said while it was commendable that Johnson wanted to take his aunt to receive medical care, he was outdoors shortly after midnight and PMH, and no other establishment for that matter, would be open before 5am.
Meanwhile, Kevin Rolle,33, was charged after officers found him on Baillou Hill Road around 11pm on May 26. He was also charged with assaulting a police officer that same night. He pleaded guilty to both counts and was fined $400 or two months in prison for violating the curfew and placed on 12 month’s probation for assaulting the officer. If he fails to be of good behaviour during that time, he will spend six month at BDCS.
Prosecutor McKenzie said that night, officers observed a red vehicle driving on Baillou Hill Road that failed to stop at the checkpoint. Sgt McKenzie said this resulted in a female Marine Seaman getting hit with the car’s mirror. As a result, the officers gave chase and questioned the defendant, who told them he was on his way home and was not aware that he had hit an officer. During the hearing, Rolle was represented by attorney Bernard Ferguson. He told the magistrate that his client was on the road because he was going to assist his grandmother. He also said that Rolle had not seen the female officer that night and did not try to harm her intentionally.
Officers found Jason Cartwright,41, on Market Street around 9.40pm. He pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or two months in prison. When given an opportunity to speak, he told the magistrate that he and his brother were outside walking and talking and they had lost track of the time.
Walter Johnson, 24, and Dario Saunders, 25, were charged after officers found them on Strachan’s Alley around 1.55am. They both pleaded guilty and were each fined $300 or one month at BCDS. During the hearing, Saunders told the magistrate that he and Johnson were cousins who were staying together during the curfew. He claimed that his girlfriend lived a few houses down from them, so he asked Johnson to walk with him so he could get something from her.
Officers found Jerry Butler, 39, on West Bay Street around 10.30pm on May 27. He pleaded guilty and was fined $400 or two months in prison. Prosecutor McKenzie said when officers approached and questioned Butler that night, he told them that he and his wife had got into an argument and that she had stumbled out of the car. He also told the officers that they had just come from a family function out west.