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Man who failed to pay fines given community service

A man who spent years attempting to pay off traffic tickets was instead given community service on Tuesday after a court heard that his “violent” reputation kept him from having a stable job.

Eli Hill, 44, told Magistrates’ Court that he could not pay off his $850 fine because every job opportunity he received was cut short due to his criminal record.

He added: “Someone once told me I was one of the most hated people in Bermuda.”

Mr Hill was speaking after he attended court to request an extension on the deadline for his fine.

Mr Hill, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to six years imprisonment in 2004 after he admitted slashing a woman’s face during an attack the previous year.

The court heard Tuesday that Mr Hill had been attempting to pay his fines as far back as 2019, but struggled to hold a job long enough to pay off the debt.

He told the court that he thought he secured an internship with a plumbing company, but later found out that he had been let go after his employer learnt of his record.

Mr Hill added his reputation also prevented him from visiting certain parishes.

The court heard that the fines would equate to about 42 hours of work.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe revoked the fines and replaced them with a community service order.

He ordered Mr Hill to visit the Department of Court Services on January 25 to determine what form of community service he will do and where.

Mr Wolffe added: “I don’t hate you – I think you’re very respectful when you come into these courts.

“I don’t know who you are outside of these doors – all I’m saying is that I want you to show them the person who I see.

“Only you can define your present and your future.”