Man fined $800 for selling coconuts without a license

A coconut vendor caught selling his wares without a license for a third time has been fined $800.

In five weeks, Marvin Joseph, 20, has been charged three times for selling coconut water and jelly without the necessary permits.

A magistrate let Joseph off with a warning on June 24.

But he continued his illegal operation and was charged again on July 14. On that occasion, he paid a $25 fine to avoid spending one week in prison.

Joseph spent two nights in prison before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt fined him $800 on July 31.

Joseph faced a maximum fine of $2,500.

Defense lawyer Jomo Campbell said that Joseph was simply providing for his family.

However, Ferguson-Pratt said it had to be done legally.

She said “A man, if he is worth his salt, if he’s worth anything, he must provide for his family. Now, in providing for his family, he must do so within the restraints of the law. This defendant may very well be providing for his family but he’s breaking the law.

“What kind of message should this court send to this offender and would be offenders, that because of this climate you can break the law? I say 1,000 times no.”

Campbell said that Joseph had demonstrated he had the “drive to work—not to steal.”

Still, the magistrate warned Joseph to stop selling coconuts until he had a license.

Ferguson-Pratt gave him until August 14 to pay half of his fine. He has until September 4 to pay the balance.

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