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Bigger Biggs fined $800 for traffic offences

Bigger Biggs fined $800 for traffic offences

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Leon “Bigger Biggs” Samuel has been convicted on three traffic offences, and has until January 5, 2015 to pay $800 in fines.{{more}}

When he appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, magistrate Carla James fined Samuel $300, to be paid in two weeks, for failing to comply with a “No Parking” sign. Failure to pay that fine will result in a three-week custodial sentence.

For obstructing the free flow of traffic, Samuel was fined $300, to be paid by December 31, or he will spend three weeks in jail. And for unnecessarily obstructing the free flow of traffic, he was fined $200, to be paid by January 5, 2015, or he will spend two weeks in jail.

In quite a lengthy plea in mitigation, Queen’s Counsel Stanley John said the court has the power to reprimand and discharge to denounce what his client had done.

“It is highly unlikely Mr Samuel will again be involved in any such thing,” John submitted.

On September 17, 2014, Samuel, CEO/director of Bigger Biggs Trucking, staged a one-man protest outside the office of the Attorney General, Judith Jones-Morgan, at Granby Street, to protest what he believed to be the dragging of feet in relation to an application he had filed for permission to resume sand mining on his land at Rabacca.

That application for permission to resume aggregate mining was approved on Thursday, October 2.

Further in mitigation, John asked the court to consider the profound perspectives on the concept of mercy and pointed out what he termed Samuel’s dire financial situation.

“Just a few weeks ago an order was pronounced by the court against Mr Samuel. First Caribbean International Bank Barbados Ltd and Bigger Trucking and Blocks Company Ltd and Leon James Samuel in Claim No. 380 of 2011, for $4,211,659.97 which is the debt he owes the bank, because his operations were closed down since 2011,” John said.

“He is in desperate straits. He appealed to the church and even the Bishop of the Catholic Church made an appeal to the powers that be to have mercy on him so that he could get back his business and employ people. This is not somebody who is a criminal or deviant. This is an upright citizen who has found himself in this set of circumstances,” John continued.

John further added that non-violent protest is not an ignoble course of conduct.

“We in St Vincent and the Grenadines in very recent times have seen it manifested itself. The current dispensation that is so earnestly working to enhance and uplift the welfare of the people of St Vincent was conceived on non-violent protest that was far more serious, threatened the public welfare far greater than what Mr Samuel was charged and found guilty of in relation to these traffic offences,” he added.

John asked the magistrate to impose a fine on one or two of the offences, which he said would not be unreasonable in the circumstances.

In relation to the others, he asked for a severe public denunciation of Samuel’s conduct, which he said would serve the interest of the public.

Samuel was also represented by Akin John in the matter.

Assistant Superintendent of Police Glenford Gregg led the case for the prosecution.(KW)

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