A man was yesterday fined $30,000 after he pleaded guilty to having a cutlass and knife in his possession without lawfully authority.
Mark Hopkinson, a 31-year-old minibus driver was arraigned at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on a charge which stated that on September 5 at Water Street, he had a knife and a cutlass in his possession without lawful authority and reasonable excuse.
Attorney Paul Fung-A-Fat said his client had bought the cutlass to cut grass in his yard. He added that the Hopkinson keeps the knife with him for protection and that Hopkinson had a vehicular accident with another driver when he was approached by police officers who wanted to look at his driver’s documents. He said that after observing the knife and cutlass inside his minibus the police proceeded to charge him.
Fung-A-Fat said that Hopkinson lives at 2878 North Ruimveldt and has never been charged before with the exception of a few minor traffic offences.
When given a chance to speak, Hopkinson also told the court that he had explained to the police that he had just purchased the cutlass to cut grass at his home but the officers did not listen to him. He added that he normally keeps the knife with him for protection since he had been stabbed in the past when two men robbed him.
Prosecutor Vishnu Hunt said that on the day of the incident police officers on patrol observed Hopkinson’s minibus BMM 4895 parked on Water Street obstructing the free flow of traffic, while he was verbally abusing another man.
Hunt said the officers then searched his minibus and found the knife and cutlass. When he was questioned by the police, he could not give a reasonable explanation as to why he was in possession of the two weapons and as a result he was arrested and charged.
Magistrate Judy Latchman fined him $30,000 or if he fails to pay the fine, he will be placed in jail for a period of one month.