From the Courts
April 7, 2017
Magistrate slaps $400 fine on two men caught gambling

Two men who were caught with $26, while gambling in Kingstown, have been charged $400 each for the offence.

On Tuesday, April 4, when they appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, one man explained that he is unemployed, while the other said he occasionally sells bread, but does not make much money from it.

Pompey reminded the men that gambling is illegal in St Vincent and the Grenadines and ordered that they each pay $400 forthwith.

Lawyer Grant Connell, who was present during the proceedings, rose as a friend of the court and pointed out that the Appeal Court is clear about asking for a forthwith payment.

“Clearly, he has indicated that he sells bread and not a man of much means and not able to pay now.”

The attorney said if given a short period, he is sure that the men would be able to pay.

“$400 forthwith is harsh and would result in an alternative sentence being activated,” Connell said.

He noted that the men are first-time offenders and by no means hardened criminals.

Connell argued that although the gambling is illegal, it is popular here, adding that casinos may be on their way with the opening of the Argyle International Airport.

Following Connell’s argument, prosecutor Elgin Richards rose and said that it would be harsh if the men were not at least given some time to pay the fine.

Pompey disagreed with both law men, saying the fine is not harsh.

However, after the men, who pleaded guilty to the charge, informed the court that they each had EC$100 to pay, Pompey became a bit lenient and gave them two weeks to pay the balance of $300 or spend three months in prison. (AS)