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Drivers get to walk

COURT TODAY BLOCKWith all the fines that Magistrate Ian Weekes imposed during the “call day” at the District ‘F’ Magistrates’ Court today, there were some drivers fortunate enough to be reprimanded and discharged.

Damian Howard of South District, St George was among them. He pleaded guilty to playing loud music along Trents Road, St James on January 19 this year.

In his explanation to the court, Howard insisted that he was not playing music that day; rather, breaking news was being broadcast at the time so he raised the volume on his radio.

Seemingly still exasperated by the incident, Howard said that it was soon after that he was stopped by police. He tried to lower the volume on his radio, but the button stuck and the volume could not be altered.

“Relax yourself,” Magistrate Weekes told him. “I believe you and I’m going to let you go free.”

That was after ascertaining which radio station had news at 11. 35 a.m.

“Thank you, Sir, and have a good day,” Howard replied after he was reprimanded and discharged.

“You have a good one too,” Weekes reciprocated.

However, Howard was still grumbling as he exited the dock and the magistrate then asked him to pause.

“You have to be telling the truth, because it seems to me like you would have had a very bad day if I had not believed you.”

Howard’s mood lightened for the first time, as he laughed in response.

Another person who was reprimanded and discharged was Jacqueline Griffith, of Upper Carlton, St James. She pleaded guilty to speeding along Lancaster Road, St James on December 14 last year.

However, the woman explained that her sister took ill that morning after a varicose vein burst and was bleeding. The Ambulance Service was called and they promised to send an ambulance as soon as one became available.

Griffith said that after waiting for an hour, she decided to take her sister to the hospital to try and stem the bleeding. She was travelling at 89 kilometres per hour that morning when police stopped her.

Her sister died since, the woman said.

Magistrate Weekes offered his condolences and sent Griffith on her way.

In another lighter matter, Denise Holder received similar treatment after she explained to the court that her traffic violations occurred after she “stopped to buy food from Princess”.

Holder admitted parking within ten metres of a crossing and causing an unnecessary obstruction.

Magistrate Weekes said he had no problem with people buying food and supporting small businesses “but park legally”, he advised.

Weekes also reminded Holder that had she been fined, “Princess won’t come and pay the fine for you”. It would have been more that what the food cost that day, he said.

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