Good Samaritans Pay Vendor’S Court Fine


Tribune Staff Reporter


A 20-year-old man, who was convicted for selling coconut water without a permit last month, was able to pay his $800 court fine on Friday thanks to good Samaritans.

Marvin Joseph spent two nights in jail last month after police officers found him operating a business without obtaining a permit from the Commissioner of Police. 

This is the third time the roadside vendor has had to appear before a Magistrate’s Court on the same offence and the second time he was fined.

In early July, he was fined $25 for selling mangoes, coconut water and coconut jelly on the side of the street without a license. 

Nearly two weeks later, he appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt for selling coconut water and jelly and was later ordered to pay $800 after spending two nights at the Bahamas Department of Corrections.

Youth Against Violence Founder Carlos Reid told reporters that Marvin was given until Friday to pay half of his fines but was able to pay the full amount thanks to good Samaritans. 

Mr Reid said: “Since his arrest and incarceration, we have raised $800 to pay his fine. He’s supposed to be out here to pay $400, half of it, but we wanted to make sure that they didn’t put this behind him. We have persons like Julian Believe and Sherwin Johnson from EVO Bahamas.  He set up a Facebook page for him to run his business. Since then, we had at least 300 persons to like the page and the public has been supportive.”

Noting the importance of supporting young entrepreneurship, Mr Reid called on the government to be more sensitive to the needs of others. 

 “The only crime we believe he committed was the fact of trying to provide for his family. One of the things that we are calling for is for our government to be more sensitive in this time and to relax some of these rules that they’re putting on,” he noted.

“We don’t want our young people on the streets where they have to be robbing people, stealing people’s grocery when people have an opportunity to become young entrepreneurs, so that is why we support Marvin and his endeavour.”

Meanwhile, EVO Bahamas president Sherwin Johnson added: “Marvin’s story hit me because it’s special to me because I know what it is to not get support and it’s important that we support our young people even if we do not support their dreams or visions, support the person. So I decided I would give my support to Marvin.” 

Local entertainer Julian Believe also supported Marvin on Friday. He noted it was  important to be each other’s keeper during this difficult time in the country’s history. 

“We wanted to do something to help him with his business so he could always  be in a position to contact his customers or they can be in a position to contact him so we decided to buy him a new phone,” he added.

“I think its important for us to be your brother’s keeper, your sister’s keeper, during this time because it’s hard for a lot of us here and I respect his hustle. He’s an entrepreneur trying to do his thing. He has his sisters that he’s taking care of and to be the oldest and have that responsibility at a young age, I respect him.” 

For his part, Marvin said he was thankful for the outpouring of love and support expressed toward him since the ordeal. 

“I just want to thank everyone who’ve been pushing me, supporting me and telling me not to give up and who’s been helping me out and my family,” he added. “I also want to thank my Carlos Reid for letting me sell my coconut water by the Oak Centre. I just want to thank everyone.”  


tribanon 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt sorely lacks the judicial temperament necessary for passing sensible judgement on others.


Chucky 6 months, 3 weeks ago

She used to be our lawyer. How she went from her dumpy office to her current position baffles everyone who ever used her service.


SP 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Whether she has the judicial temperament or not may be suspect, however, as Chief Magistrate she has unquestionably proven she does not have the ability to show any shred of empathy which should be a major prerequisite for the position she holds!


mandela 6 months, 3 weeks ago

The POLICE are the first responders, they could have given him a bly, or try to understand his actions and let him off with a warning, or even turned their heads just like they did for the tourist on the beach, but no they hate on the poor and the defenseless, just watch and take notice how differently the police interact with persons who are rich be they black or white, and even if you are white and poor they act differently, all with some form of likeability and respect. So because there is no middle class anymore, the middle class is now down-graded to poor, when it comes to the poor black citizens in the Bahamas (mainly Nassau ), we are treated by the police with hate, no respect, and contempt, and the ironic thing is after treating the poor citizens this way they themselves too must live amongst and be apart of the very citizens, the poor citizens that they hate on, show no respect for and take advantage off. SHAMEFUL.


SP 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Ha, you are overly idealistic! The police are the " fingers and hands" of the judicial system. You cannot expect the police to be any different than the "powers that be", so the police's actions are actually only an exact extension of the judge.

The cops knew full well the judge would impose a senseless ruling on this poor man. If the cops thought the judge would consider the "offense" a waste of time, they wouldn't have arrested the guy in the first place.

It is shameful but expected in our excessively draconian culture.


DDK 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Of all the heartless, stupid things that occurred since The Great Ruler granted himself Emergency Powers, this is one if the most egregious he. Any one in another country reading an account of this arrest and fine would be certain we live under a most draconian ruler.


SP 6 months, 2 weeks ago

We live under a democratic-dictatorship.


TalRussell 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Comrade Chief Justice Brian, un dizzy justice has gone haywire me as to how it works when we read how the Homeless being jailed for not sheltering at the only home, the only home they know, the damn streets, whilst another steals the ATM's many thousands of dollars and gets walk out the courtroom after being fined to shelter at home when curfew breachers are subject ten-thousand dollars in fines and being bused up to **shelter in a crowded no toilet jail cell at Fox Hill Prison? Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?


juju 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Did he pick the coconuts off HIS trees? I am constantly chasing men out of my coconut trees.


buddah17 6 months, 3 weeks ago

What has THAT to do with this story?


stillwaters 6 months, 3 weeks ago

This young man said on another news station that his goal is to get into the police college and be a policeman. He needs to stop being arrested for the same thing over and over again, if he wants to achieve that goal. Must start with him obeying the law, if one day he wants to be a part of enforcement of laws.


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