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Repeat curfew violator among those charged today

Just one day after he was fined $350 for breaking the nationwide curfew, police arrested Stephen Walkes for the same offense.

This time, Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes upped the fine to $750.

If Walkes, 24, of Augusta Street, doesn’t pay the fine, he would spend eight months in prison.

In the first case, police arrested Walkes at Poinciana Drive around 12:30 a.m. on March 25.

He pleaded guilty the following day and was fined $350.

Then, on March 27, police arrested Walkes in the same area around 9 p.m. on March 27.

Forbes told Walkes that the message of the importance of the curfew “didn’t seem to be getting through” to the 18 to 35 age group.

He warned Walkes that the penalty would triple if he reoffended.

He reminded Walkes that curfew violators faced 18 months in prison or a maximum fine of $10,000.

Forbes said, “We could do this each time you keep coming back.”

Walkes was among nine people charged with violation of curfew yesterday.

Police arrested Jeff Demeritte at Crooked Island Street around 8:35 p.m. on March 28.

He claimed he was visiting his godchild.

Forbes told him, “As commendable as visiting your godchild is, you are convicted and fined $250 or two months in prison.”

Police arrested Stephen Hanna, who claimed he was headed to his home in Coral Harbour around 9 p.m.

He claimed he had just left Fox Hill and had been out to get baby supplies.

Hanna told the magistrate he would have been home before 9 p.m., if the police didn’t arrest him.

The magistrate told him that he needed to be better informed, as the curfew was now all-day long. He was fined $250 or three months in prison.

Quest Bullard, Ashton Sands and Shavani Moss were arrested at Farrington Road around 10 p.m. on March 27.

Sands, who works at a service station near the airport, said that he was an exempted worker.

But the magistrate pointed out that the exemption was only valid during the station’s operating hours from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sands’ passengers said they were going to get food.

They were each fined $250 or two months in prison.

Wulff Road resident George Turnquest was arrested at Crooked Island Street on March 28 around 8:35 p.m. He was also fined $250 or two months in prison.

Jason Newbold and Marquel Daniels denied a charge of curfew violation.

They were granted $1,000 bail. They return to court for trial on June 18.

The curfew that came into effect on March 20 and ends on April 8 is designed to stop community spread of COVID-19.

Unless they work for essential services, or exempted businesses, residents are required to remain at home during the 24-hour curfew.

However, residents are permitted to leave home to do important business such as going to the grocery store, bank, service station or doctor.

Senior Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.
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