Man fined for dangerous driving during curfew

court matters
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By Latrishka Thomas

While speeding down Sir George Walter Highway during curfew on Tuesday, a man collided with the airport fence, and found himself on the wrong side of the law.

Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh fined Gershon Maurison $2,000 for dangerous driving and $500 for violating the 11pm to 5am curfew when he appeared before St John’s Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The incident occurred at around 12.20am on November 3 when the defendant was travelling from south to north on the highway in a van.

He claimed to have been blinded by an oncoming headlight and swerved off the road and collided with the airport fence.

When asked why he was on the road at that time, the man said that he fell asleep at home and tried to rush to his sister’s house because he promised to stay with her and her kids.

He was told that if he fails to pay the fines by December 30, he will be imprisoned for three months for his hazardous driving, and one month for failing to comply with the curfew.

Meanwhile, two brothers — Raffie Phillip and Ridge Turner — were each fined $500 for their noncompliance with the curfew on November 4.

Law enforcement officers on patrol caught the two men in a vehicle at the Everyday gas station on Independence Drive at around 1.30am.

The driver, Phillip, told the court that he was kicked out of his girlfriend’s house and then had car trouble.

Phillip said he was unaware of the time.

The other brother claimed that he called his brother for a ride before the curfew struck but was picked up late because of vehicular problems.

He added that he fell asleep in the vehicle not knowing where they were until he was awakened by the officers.

Both men must pay the fines within two weeks or they will spend three months behind bars.

On the other hand, Havil Donald was also ordered to pay $1,000 to the state for having a social gathering in St Johnston’s Village in July.

His lawyer, Leon Chaku Symister, argued that there is “unequal enforcement of the law” in relation to social gatherings and gave several examples of parties that happened across the island.

He said there were less than 15 people at the birthday celebration.

The defendant claimed that, at the time, he did not know that there was a ban on social gatherings because he does not have a television or a radio.

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