Landscaper can’t pay fines, so must do time
A landscaper who committed several traffic offences will spend his first night at HMP Dodds after he was unable to pay $1,700 in court-imposed fines.
Raphael Dwayne Roberts, of Lower Wavell, Black Rock, St Michael, admitted to driving a car on Black Rock Main Road yesterday without a driver’s licence; driving without insurance; driving without road tax; driving a vehicle that was not registered; and driving with fraudulent number plates and an outdated registration disc.
The 35-year-old also pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of cannabis.
According to the police prosecutor Station Sergeant Theodore McClean, police were on patrol when they approached Roberts while he was in the Carlton Supermarket car park. While he was being interviewed, lawmen realized that the registration disc was not current. Further investigations revealed that the registration number did not apply to Roberts’ vehicle. A further probe was conducted which resulted in the other traffic offences being discovered.
As a result on those violations, police requested a search of the car, which Roberts consented to.
The cannabis was found in a plastic bottle in the car and he was taken into custody. A search warrant was obtained to search Roberts’ home and more of the illegal substance was found in his bedroom which, when combined with the drugs found in his car, weighed five grammes and had an estimated street value of $25.
Roberts, who is known to the law courts, told Magistrate Graveney Bannister that he was a social smoker and did not have a drug problem.
He was reprimanded and discharged for the drugs after the magistrate informed him to get help if he had issues “before it developed into a situation you cannot control”.
Bannister then asked Roberts if he had anything to say about the traffic offences, to which he replied that he had committed them because of family obligations such as paying bills.
“I don’t see the logic [in that],” Bannister responded. “ You couldn’t take a yellow or blue bus?”
He then fined the man $500 forthwith with an alternative of 50 days in prison for driving without a licence, $750 for having no insurance which also had to be paid immediately or he would spend 75 days in jail, and $450 for having no road tax, which was also a forthwith fine or 47 days behind bars.
Roberts was convicted, reprimanded and discharged on the other offences.
“I can’t pay those fines forthwith, Sir,” he stated after the sentences were handed down.
When the magistrate told him that he could make a phone call, Roberts responded that he had no one to call, which resulted in him taking the trip to the St Philip penitentiary.