By Latrishka Thomas
A woman of Spanish descent now owes the state $500 for breaching social gathering restrictions.
Yesterday, Beatrice Tonge admitted to having a party — when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court — but not before she was contradicted by the officer who ticketed her.
On Thursday, she told the court that she was not at the event but was on the verandah of her house which is right next to where the function was taking place.
However, the magistrate did not buy the story and therefore adjourned the matter until yesterday to hear from the officer.
According to officer’s statement, they were on patrol on Dickenson Bay Street when they came across a party. Enquiries were made and the defendant indicated that it was her house.
The female officer said that she told the defendant that she was breaching the social gathering restriction and asked for an ID to get her name for the ticket, and the defendant obliged.
Having heard the officer’s side of the story, a $500 fine was imposed, but should Tonge fail to pay the monies she will spend three months behind bars.
Meanwhile, another Hispanic woman will be standing trial on April 30 for operating a bar after she told the court in February that she merely had a social gathering at the back of her bar.
Eloisa Perez was slapped with two charges when police spotted several vehicles in front of her bar.
She was charged for operating a bar during a state of emergency and failing to comply with the social gathering restriction.
She only pleaded guilty to the latter and will therefore be going to trial for the former.
It is said that on February 21 at about 4:30 pm, police on mobile patrol noticed a number of vehicles parked near the Broken Stool bar, also known as Lisa’s bar, and when they went to the back of the establishment, they counted eight patrons who were drinking beer.
The defendant was reportedly observed coming from the side door of the bar when she was summoned.
The woman attempted to explain to the Chief Magistrate that her Upper Fort Road bar, which is in front of her home, was closed, but she hosted a social gathering in the back on February 21.
However, the woman was asked to save her defense for trial since she pleaded not guilty.