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Man opts for jail over paying fines

A man was jailed for six months yesterday after he declined to pay fines totalling $7,250.

Magistrate Maxanne Anderson jailed Malcolm Symonds after he told Magistrates’ Court that he could not afford to pay and instead opted to be jailed.

She said: “Your behaviour has been pathetic for a man of 59. You should know better and be an example for this younger generation.”

Symonds, from Pembroke, pleaded guilty to drink driving, refusing to take a breath test and a breach of the previous 8pm to 6am Government curfew.

The court heard that police saw him riding a motorcycle along Montpelier Road in Devonshire around 10pm on May 1.

Officers followed him as his drove onto Happy Valley Road and stopped him on Deepdale Road East.

Symonds told officers that he was on his way home and that he “had a few beers”.

Officers asked him to offer a sample of breath for analysis, but he said “f*** the police” and refused.

Symonds was arrested and taken to Hamilton Police Station. It was also discovered that his motorcycle license had expired.

Symonds was fined $1,500 and banned from the roads for 18 months for the drink driving offence and fined $1,500 for the breach of curfew. He also had $4,250 in unpaid traffic fines that went back to 2019.

Tiné Tucker, for the Crown, chose not to offer any evidence for the refusal to take a breath test charge and the charge was dismissed.

Symonds told the court that he did not have the money to pay any of his fines and said “I’d rather just go to jail for all of this”.

Ms Anderson sentenced him to a total of 525 days imprisonment, but ordered the days to run concurrently over the course of six months.

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