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Leniency plea for woman driver caught after curfew

Call for action: lawyer Elizabeth Christopher (File photograph)

A defence lawyer yesterday called for leniency for people charged with Covid-19 curfew breaches after a designated driver was fined $1,500 for being out after the deadline.

Elizabeth Christopher told Magistrates’ Court that many cases of curfew breaches were not “cookie cutter cases” but were treated as if they were.

She added: “I think that any sentencing procedure has to be thoughtful about actual culpability and blameworthiness and I’m asking the court to consider that this young lady falls very low on the scale of that.

“In order for ostensibly draconian laws to make sense we have to temper justice with mercy effectively.”

Ms Christopher was speaking after Sharae Edness, 26, pleaded guilty to being outside past the earlier midnight to 5am curfew.

The court heard that police stopped Edness’ car around 12.30am on January 31 on South Road in Paget.

Edness, from Hamilton Parish, told officers that she had driven her friends home after they spent the evening at the Newstead resort in Paget.

She told the court that she was the designated driver and had tried to get them home before curfew.

She added that she planned to stay at the home of friends, but was stopped by the police before she could call them.

Alan Richards, for the Crown, said sentences for curfew breaches could be varied at the discretion of a magistrate.

But he added that a clear deterrent message had to be sent.

Magistrate Craig Attridge fined Ms Edness $1,500 and ordered her to pay by May 27.

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