Editorial: A High Price To Pay For Faking Being Ill

FAKING sick slips has come at a high price for two prison officers.

Mercette Pinder and Areyette Lightbourne find themselves packed off to serve time behind the bars they used to guard.

We imagine the welcome from their fellow prisoners won’t be the warmest.

Employers everywhere will have been used to a worker occasionally faking an illness for day off here and there – but these two appear to have taken it to another level.

Each went to Princess Margaret Hospital and got their fake slips from a nurse there – with Pinder saying he paid a nurse $15 and $25 for his two sick slips.

No such payment mentioned by Lightbourne, but he did say he got it from a nurse who “noticed his frustration” at the apparent poor service there. A shame he couldn’t be more patient – maybe a member of staff was ill that day. His supposed lack of patience lands him with 40 days in prison, while Pinder gets 60 days. Each could have three months more added if they don’t pay the fines they received in addition.

Even when they get out, we think they’ll find the job market not very accepting for uniformed officers who faked illness to avoid work – especially in the throes of a pandemic.

As they reflect on their choices behind bars, we suspect it will probably make them feel very sick indeed.

But was what they did so very unusual? How many out there have taken a sick day when they’ve been perfectly fine. Maybe to go sort out some errands, maybe just because they didn’t fancy a day at work.

More than a few might be looking at people ending up in jail for saying they weren’t fit for work and thinking on another day that might have been them.

Some too might raise a hand in protest to say that you shouldn’t have to use a holiday day every time you have to sort out paperwork with the government or a bank – though these things should be faster rather than working out ways to get around letting them take you longer.

Either way, there’ll be a few breathing a sigh of relief that it wasn’t them in court today. And also taking note that this is not the way to do things tomorrow.

Shame these partygoers

Do we have to keep shooting ourselves in the foot?

COVID-19 cases are still surging, but the lockdown measures have been eased to allow the economy to start moving again. What’s the first thing a lot of people have done? Thrown big get-togethers and parties. Honestly, it makes you sigh in disbelief.

We feel very sorry for Police Commissioner Paul Rolle as he finds polite words to tell people this isn’t the time.

His restraint is admirable as he says he doesn’t want to be arresting people but “the law is the law”.

Do we want to go back into a tighter lockdown? Do we want these small steps to liberty to be taken back? Because that’s what will happen if such irresponsible behaviour leads to a further increase in cases.

As the old saying goes, it takes two to tango – so it’s not just the party hosts, but the party goers. So next time someone invites you to one of these events, say no. Say more than no. Say no, and you shouldn’t be hosting it either. Tell people if they want to have your respect, they wouldn’t hold parties in the middle of a pandemic.

Commissioner Rolle and his officers have a whole island to police, they don’t need to be policing such parties because those present are too selfish. Peer pressure can stop these events – so if you hear about one, speak up about it, and tell people they’re only putting the lives of others at risk.

Let’s celebrate when it’s safe, not party our lives away.


birdiestrachan 2 weeks, 2 days ago

to many young black men are put in Jail. There is no need for it. there is always community service.

According to reports the jails are not fit for human beings.. so many with no space. and COVID 19.

Does anybody care about these young men who go to jail for minor crimes? somebody, please help them. I pray.for mercy for them.



joeblow 2 weeks, 2 days ago

... the Parliament decides what is a law, not individuals in the community. Penalties are assigned for breaking the law and that may include going to jail. The purpose of some penalties is to discourage persons from breaking the law-- it is called a deterrent. When a person breaks the law it means they have no regard for it. When they break the law repeatedly it undermines the law and causes lawlessness in society. If young black men do not want to go to jail, they only have to do one thing-- not break the law!! Simple!

So Birdie, the problem is not the law but the lawbreakers! Until laws are changed by Parliament, they should all be enforced!


Chucky 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Far from a reasonable perspective!

Would make sense if all laws were applied and enforced against all people equally.

Since the elite rarely are pursued, and almost never convicted , one could argue that its unjust to pursue enforcing minor crimes with no identifiable victim while allowing serious corruption to go unpunished.

This is the reality of how the “black man” makes up the majority of prison populations in any country.


joeblow 2 weeks ago

... you are conflating separate issues! What the law is and its indiscriminate application are separate though interrelated issues. I already said all laws should be enforced!

Corruption in all forms reflects an issue with the human heart and conscience not the law itself. I suspect the reason a majority of young black men in this country are in jais is because the majority of our population is black. I also suspect that the majority of those in prisons in Canada, Nordic countries, India or China (which have the worlds largest populations) are not black!


thephoenix562 2 weeks, 2 days ago

This is unfortunate and unnecessary. Whiy is this a court matter?Fire them.That is more than enough.Community service more than enough.!Shameful.


TalRussell 2 weeks, 2 days ago

The positive this is shouldn't we expect the Central Authoritarian Regime's CAR enforcement agencies, and quick commit jail courts to likewise lower the standards brungs prosecution bar for all- including those House-elected, politically appointed, favored, and privileged - found be doing likewise things like slacking out when obligated conduct The Colony's affairs. Just couldn't make this stuff up. Just couldn't. A nod of Once for Yeah ((inclusive slacking out of Hurricane Dorian's dead, and the COVID-19's confusing on and off directives, Twice for No?


themessenger 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Y’all don’t get it. This is why the Bahamas is the land of slackness and tiefing, our people have no respect for the law because all they ever get for doing foolishness is a slap on the wrist. We have laws for everything but they’re seldom enforced and even then Only selectively.


ohdrap4 2 weeks, 2 days ago

True. Some people only get sick whe the workplace is busy.

I remember when it was announced that a particular fella's mother had died. Someone in the back of the room exclaimed "AGAIN?"

I get in trouble when I start refusing to fill for certain individuals. They never thank me or do same for me.

I was one of the first ones to be kicked out come covid. But they will miss me because there will be no one to hold the fort so they will be late everyday.


geostorm 1 week, 6 days ago

@messenger I wish you could type this again in CAPS so that people all across the archipelago can get it!! We are too slack as a people. This is why we are not progressing in this country, too much dishonesty and disrespect for the law. Everyone wants to cut corners!! Glad they will be going to jail. It will teach them a hard lesson.


birdiestrachan 2 weeks, 1 day ago

There is something called MERCY that all will desire someday. People committed much more serious offences and they walk free. because they have the ability to hire high priced lawyers. even murderers go free They are young they have sinned. allow them to pay for it outside of the crowded jail

It makes sense.. but they say common sense is not common.

And as Jesus said, " him who is without sin let them cast the first stone". They all walked away.


birdiestrachan 2 weeks, 1 day ago

IS JOEBLOW WITHOUT SIN. If he says so he is a liar and the TRUTH is not in him or her.


joeblow 2 weeks, 1 day ago

... Birdie, try to keep up! The conversation was about state laws which are man made, not spiritual law!


Chucky 2 weeks ago

Exactly. Man made. Enforced to ensnare the poor man while the rich man escapes.

The British system and all that stem from it are the most corrupt systems of all time.

It’s slavery for the modern eras, where class rather than race is the distinguishing characteristic.

Nobody would argue against serious punishment for the burglar, rapist or murderer, but only a bumbling food would agree with punishment of petty crime while the ruling class escapes punishment after raping the nation.


themessenger 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Birdie you is a natural bungy hole, you always running on bout the small black man getting lock up. It obviously don’t matter to you if they murderers, rapists or thieves, as long as they poor, black and support your party then they should catch a break. You also like to run on bout how Christian and God fearing you are, you need to reacquaint yourself with Moses Ten Commandments.


birdiestrachan 2 weeks ago

I did say minor. I believed this before COVID 19 and more so now. six persons in one cell and only two beds as the young man said. spells trouble

Should there be an outbreak in prison it will be a disaster

Take note the competent authority the one man has not handled COVID 19 well. The Bahamas is at the bottom of all.

God is still a merciful and forgiving God. There are to many Young Black men in jail for minor offences There must be a better way.


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