By FARRAH JOHNSON
A DOZEN people appeared before Magistrate Andrew Forbes yesterday charged with violating the national curfew.
Stephen Hanna, 25, was charged for being on the road around 9.50 pm on Monday.
He pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $250 or two months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS).
Prosecutor, Sergeant Lincoln McKenzie said Hanna was arrested after he was found in the area of Coral Harbour during curfew hours.
At the time, he told police he had just left Fox Hill after getting baby supplies for his child.
When given an opportunity to speak, Hanna said he was “literally 30 seconds” away from his house at 9pm and would have made the curfew if he was not stopped by police.
However, he told the judge the officers informed him that the curfew had been extended to 24 hours.
In response, Magistrate Forbes told the defendant if he was not going to the foodstore, pharmacy or gas station, he should not have been on the road because he was putting himself and everyone else he came in contact with at risk.
Jason Newbold, 40, and Marquell Daniels, 25, were also charged with violating the curfew on March 27 in the area of Hospital Lane.
Initially, both defendants denied the allegations,however, Daniels returned to court an hour later to change her plea.
She told the judge she was outside because she had just got off from her job in Old Fort Bay and was trying to hike a ride to pick up her child. She also said she was trying to get her daughter something to eat after the child had told her she was hungry.
As a result, Magistrate Forbes discharged Daniels and dismissed the case.
Newbold, who had pleaded not guilty to the charge, was released on $500 bail with one surerter. His matter was adjourned to June 18 at 10am for trial.
Both Daniels and Newbold are represented by attorney Ian Cargill.
Stephen Walkes, 23, was also accused of violating the national curfew on March 27 in the area of Poinciana Drive.
According to the prosecutor, when questioned that night, Walkes told police he had just left his uncle who lives on Boyd Road.
During the arraignment, Magistrate Forbes noted that Walkes had appeared before his court for the same matter last week.
He reiterated the importance of following the law and said it appeared as if the message had not gotten through to people particularly between the ages of 18-35.
For being a second time offender, Walkes was fined $750 or eight months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDCS).
Magistrate Forbes also told the defendant every time he came back, the penalty would double.
George Turnquest, 35, and Jeffrey Demeritte, 29, also pleaded guilty to the charge and were both fined $250 each or two months at BDCS.
Sgt McKenzie said Turnquest was found in the area of Coral Harbour around 10.35pm on Monday acting in a suspicious manner.
When questioned by police, Turnquest told them he had just left his cousin’s house and was heading home.
Demeritte, who was found walking in the area of Crooked Island Street around 8.35pm last Saturday, told officers he went to see his godchild.
Malik McKenzie, 24, and Anthony Clarke,18, were also accused of breaking the curfew on March 23 after police found them in the area of Zion Boulevard around 9.40 pm.
Two other teenagers were also charged alongside a man for violating the national curfew last Friday.
Quest Bullard, 18, Shannai Moss, 18, and Ashton Sands, 21, all pleaded guilty and were fined $250 each or two months in prison.
Sergeant McKenzie said the defendants, who were riding in a vehicle together, were stopped by officers on mobile patrol in the area of Farrington Road off East Street at 10pm.
When questioned, Sands told the officers he was dropping off his co-workers. However, the prosecutor said Bullard and Moss told police they were riding with Sands to get something to eat.
During the arraignment, Sands also showed the judge a letter from his workplace which requested permission for its employees to be allowed outside between the hours of 6am and 5pm.
Still, Magistrate Forbes told the defendant the document did not justify them violating the curfew at 10pm.
During his arraignment Sanchez Williams, 25, also pleaded guilty to violating the curfew after he was found in the Lily of the Valley Corner around 9.30pm on March 26.
He told the judge the gas went out while he was cooking for his child, so he had left his home to go and get food for his baby so that he could give him his medication.
Williams was subsequently discharged and the case was dismissed.