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Two fined for Covid curfew breaches

Magistrates’ Court (File photograph)

Two people caught by police on South Road in breach of curfew were dealt fines in Magistrates’ Court yesterday morning.

Keishay Bean-Virgil, 33, pleaded guilty to a charge that she breached curfew in an incident on January 16.

The court heard Bean-Virgil was inside a car that officers stopped at 2am that night near the junction of White Sands Road and South Road.

Bean-Virgil, from Devonshire admitted to the court that she was a passenger in the car, but she said that she had been drinking and was not aware of the time.

“I was attending a party - a gathering,” she said. “I recall going to the car to go to sleep at about 9pm.”

Elizabeth Christopher, defence counsel, said it was not a case of the defendant flaunting the Covid-19 regulations, and the court did not know how many people were at the gathering.

But senior magistrate Juan Wolffe said that Covid-19 breaches must be treated seriously given the global pandemic and fined her $3,000.

He added: “This is conduct that the regulations were designed to stamp out to stop the community spread of Covid-19 – people gathering for the purpose of partying or entertainment.”

Benjamin Jewett, 51, from Southampton, meanwhile admitted breaching curfew in an incident on January 28.

The court heard he was stopped by police as he drove west along South Road, in Paget, at 12.41am – 41 minutes after curfew began.

Jewett apologised to the court for the breach, but explained that he was returning home from work at Mad Hatters Restaurant when he was stopped.

“On the night in question I sent all my staff home so they could get home before curfew,” he said. “There was just one member of staff left, and I had told her I would follow her home to make sure she got home safely.

“In my haste to get everyone out of the restaurant I turned on the dishwasher and had both of the sinks draining at the same time. They backed up and it flooded the kitchen.

“I had to stay to clean up the mess in the kitchen and secure the premises.”

Mr Wolffe said that while his explanation did not excuse the breach, the circumstances put Jewett in the lower end of the sentencing scale, fining him $1,500.