Rule breakers are fined $8,000 for bathing in beach

Rule breakers are fined $8,000 for bathing in beach

The group of persons caught breaking the rules of the Public Health Ordinance by bathing at a beach near Cocorite have been granted bail in the total sum of $8,000.

According to a release from the T&T Police Service (TTPS), the seven accused appeared virtually before a Magistrate on Thursday and pleaded guilty.

Leticia Debideen, Nakisha Hewitt, Natasha Meade, Atiba Phillip, Gilanni Ash and Terric Jack were each fined $1,000. They are required to pay the fine within one week or spend two weeks in simple imprisonment. They all live in Cocorite.

The sixth person, Martin Hunter, was fined $2,000 or face three weeks simple imprisonment if the fine is not paid within one week. Hunter hails from St Ann’s.

On Wednesday, 10 persons were arrested for breaching the Public Health Ordinance Regulations when they were found bathing in the waters off Bayside Towers in Cocorite.

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, said he received information from the public and directed officers to the area, who caught the 10 persons caught bathing in the sea. They were immediately arrested and taken to the Four Roads Police Station where they are being processed.

They are being charged in accordance with Section 3 (1) (d) of the Public Health (2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) (No 14) Regulations 2020 which states, that during the specified period, a person shall not, without reasonable justification, “be found at or in any beach, river, stream, pond, spring, or similar body of water, unless the presence of that person is essential for the carrying out or provision of a service specified.”

The penalty for such an offence is a $50,000 fine and six months in prison.

Although ten were arrested, only seven are known to have been appeared before a judge charged with the offence.