Twelve persons arrested and charged for socialising at Spanish bar

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By Latrishka Thomas

Six of 12 individuals arrested and charged with failure to comply with restrictions on social gatherings on Saturday night have each been fined $1,000.

Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh imposed the sentences on Vina Mangal, Amalia Rosell, Alfred Titus, Tiffany Jones, Junior Joseph, and Alisha Lavinier when they appeared in St John’s Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Around 10.50pm on August 1, police officers on mobile patrol acted on information they received and found the group at the Spanish Paradise Bar on Old Parham Road.

Upon arrival, they observed several persons on the outside, some on the inside, and music was playing. Two of the individuals were also not wearing face masks.

The officers entered the bar and informed the occupants of the violation, and they were subsequently arrested and charged.

Attorney Jan Peltier represented all of the accused.

She said that Titus had just walked into the bar, purchased a drink and was arrested while leaving.

According to the lawyer, Rosell and Mangal are coworkers, while Mangal and Lavinier are related.

The three of them were reportedly having drinks at one table.

Meanwhile, Jones and Joseph are partners who also work together as fisherfolk, supplying fish to persons such as the bar owner, the lawyer told the court.

They had reportedly been invited to have a drink with the owner after delivering fish.

Peltier argued that the six of them were only guilty of “being in a small bar”.

However, police prosecutor Allan Honore’ disclosed that a health inspector had previously surveyed the establishment and had made social distance markings.

The inspector was therefore called to the stand to explain the recommendations and markings made at the bar.

Thereafter, the magistrate sentenced the six offenders to pay the fine or spend three months in jail.

Jones and Joseph were also charged with failing to wear face masks, and were fined an additional $1,000 each.

The other six persons, including the bar manager, will appear in court today.

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