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Court fines man who gave the police an incorrect name

Court fines man who gave the police an incorrect name
Okqueto Jones

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A 29-year-old watchman who gave the police his brother’s name and was charged under that name for a very serious offence, in a matter which has reached the High Court, has been fined for his actions.  

Georgetown resident, Okqueto Jones, on December 26, 2016, told a police constable that his name was “Mark Jones” – intending the PC to charge him for an offence in this name, which the officer ought not to have done if the correct name had been given to her. 

According to information, the officer had been investigating a report and Okqueto was arrested alongside a number of persons. When the police questioned him about his name he gave it as “Mark Jones”, and he was later charged and taken to court on this name. 

At some point, the police received information and when they carried out investigations they found that his name was really Okqueto Jones. The officer found out that his brother’s name is Mark. 

The defendant said he is the middle child and Mark is his elder brother. 

Senior Magistrate, Rickie Burnett wanted to know what was going on in his mind when he committed the offence. 

The Georgetown resident said that he got frightened and everything came down on him. He said his girlfriend had just had a baby, and there was a warrant out for him that needed to be paid. He did not want to lose his job in these circumstances. At the time he was involved in construction work in the Grenadines. 

He said he was aware that he was doing something wrong, and was also mentioning that it was a name inside his household. 

“Whether or not you’re giving the police somebody far or somebody near, it remains the same you know? There’s no difference, it’s just a difference in person but the mind at the time remains the same, and the charge remains the same and the offence will remain the same,” Burnett told him. 

The offence carries a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment. 

Prosecutor, Corporal Corlene Samuel was asked to weigh in on the case.

She said that the defendant was well aware of what he was doing, and it was his way of trying to deal with the matter without getting another conviction to his name. 

“He was being dishonest, and it went on for a period of time…” she pointed out, as in 2021 the matter is before the High Court awaiting trial. 

If found guilty at the High Court for the 2016 crime, Okqueto faces possible imprisonment for life (equated to 30 years in that case). 

The prosecutor said that the defendant should be made to understand the seriousness of the offence. 

She also revealed that his brother had made an application for a police report and it was while doing background checks that this came up. 

Okqueto claimed that his brother knew about the situation. 

The magistrate said that it is a serious offence, but that he was not going to send the defendant to prison for it. Instead, he chose to impose a fine of $1500 to be paid by March 31, 2022. There is a default of nine months imprisonment attached. 

The defendant left the courtroom joining his girlfriend who was awaiting him outside. 

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