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Court fines three people for curfew breaches

Three more people were fined for Covid-19 breaches today in an online Magistrates’ Court session.

The court heard that Shawn Simmons, 37, was stopped by police at about 1am on February 16 near the junction of Middle Road and Burnt House Hill in Warwick.

He apologised to the court and explained that he had been working to record a commercial at a friend’s home studio.

Simmons added that he left to return to his home in Sandys between 12.15am and 12.30am and that he believed the 1am time mentioned in the charge was the very end of his encounter with police.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe initially fined Simmons $3,000, but the defendant urged the court to consider if he could be sentenced to a period of community service instead.

Mr Wolffe ordered a short-form social inquiry report on Simmons to determine if he would be suitable for community service and released him on $3,000 bail.

Ryliegh McGhee, 31, also admitted being in breach of curfew in an incident on January 28 after she was stopped by police at 12.46am on South Road in Paget.

She told the court that she was on her way to her home in Southampton after a night of work at Mad Hatters restaurant.

Elizabeth Christopher, defence counsel, told the court that the case may be one where a conditional discharge was appropriate given that McGhee’s boss, Benjamin Jewett, had claimed responsibility for the breach.

Jewett – who plead guilty to the same offence on Tuesday – told the court that the restaurant had encountered a flooding problem that night after all but he and McGhee had left.

Mr Wolffe said that everyone needed to follow the Covid-19 requirements and if people should report their employers if they feel pressured to breach curfew.

“While not as serious as people going to some gathering or to visit someone, this is still serious,” he said.

The senior magistrates initially fined McGhee $2,000 for the offence, but decreased the fine to $1,500 to match the penalty faced by Jewett.

Leoshawan Place, 24, from Devonshire, also pleaded guilty to breaching Covid-19 regulations.

The court heard that he was stopped by police at about 12.10am on February 4 in Warwick.

Place told the court he had left a friend’s house before midnight to go to his girlfriend’s home but was stopped before he could reach his destination.

Given the circumstances, Mr Wolffe fined Place $2,000.

Another two people were fined $3,000 for Covid-19 regulation breaches in an online sitting of Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday

Johnea Paynter, 25, from Warwick, was stopped by police shortly after 2am on February 6 near the junction of Khyber Pass and Random Lane in Warwick.

Christopher Mora, 48, from Smiths, was caught near the junction of White Sands Road and South Road in Paget at 12.17am on January 10.

Mora reportedly told police that he had been at his brother’s house and lost track of time.