By FARRAH JOHNSON
TRIBUNE STAFF REPORTER
A 29-year-old man who claimed he violated the national curfew because he was trying to get water for his children was fined $500 yesterday.
Wilmer Pierre appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney after officers found him on Cowpen Road around 1am on August 8.
He pleaded guilty to breaching the curfew, but said he only left his house because he and his girlfriend had run out of water at home and he and twin babies.
The court heard officers on mobile patrol in the Cowpen Road area observed a burgundy Nissan March car traveling east on the street. They then beckoned for the vehicle to stop and asked the defendant to exit the car. When he did, the officers asked Pierre why he was outdoors during curfew hours. In response, he told them he was going by a friend. As a result, Pierre was informed he was in breach of the curfew and was taken to the Carmichael Road police station. In an interview with police there, he admitted to the offence. Still, he told the interviewing officers he only left his house to get “stuff for his kids”.
When given an opportunity to speak during the hearing yesterday, Pierre told the magistrate he shopped earlier this past weekend and had bought food and a generator for his family. He claimed these purchases only left him with $13 and said his family had run out of water that night. Pierre added he knew someone who sold water from their home, so he went there to buy some. He said on his way back, he was stopped by officers. Still, he insisted the shop he went to wasn’t very far away since it was a “30 minute walk, but two minute drive”.
In response, Magistrate McKinney told Pierre he found “inconsistencies” in his reasoning for leaving his house that morning. He also said the defendant’s explanation gave him the impression he was going somewhere nearby to get the water when that was not the case.
As a result, Magistrate McKinney said the court could not accept Pierre’s explanation and fined him $500 or three months at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.