Rodell Solomon’s excuse that he was plying his car for hire to pay his children’s school tuition did not save him from prison yesterday.
Solomon, 36, who was caught driving while permanently disqualified, was sentenced to six months in jail.
Last September, his driver’s permit was permanently forfeited after he recorded his third conviction for drunk driving, as well as driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
He was fined $20,000 or in default three years hard labour. Solomon is still owing the court $17,500 and the payment deadline is Friday.
He was arrested around 6.17 am yesterday after PC Shiva Roopchand, the police officer who charged him last year, saw him driving in Ste Madeleine.
Court prosecutor Sgt Morgan told San Fernando Traffic Court Magistrate Natalie Diop that Solomon was stopped by the police while driving a blue coloured wagon along Naparima Mayaro Road, Corinth.
Roopchand charged him with two offences, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance. Solomon did not have an attorney. He told the magistrate that he has two children, an 11-year-old daughter who recently wrote SEA and a four- year-old son.
He said he sometimes work as a labourer, but he was doing hire jobs to make up money to pay for his childrens’ school tuition.
The magistrate sentenced him to six months in jail on each charge, to run concurrently.
In the same court, Nafeez Hanif, 27, an outpatient of the Psychiatric Ward at the San Fernando General Hospital, pleaded guilty to drunk driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance.
Hanif was permanently disqualified from holding a driver’s permit in February after he chalked up his third offence for driving under the influence. The court heard that Hanif was driving in Ghandi Village, Debe, around 11 pm on Monday when he saw a police vehicle and sped off.
The officers, including PC Roopchand, gave chase and eventually intercepted the vehicle.
Roopchand recognised Hanif and recalled that he was disqualified earlier this year.
Hanif subsequently failed the breathalyser test with a reading of 72 microgrammes.
The legal limit is 35 microgrammes. Hanif’s attorney requested that he be sent for an evaluation at the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital.
The magistrate remanded him to the hospital until June 4.
Reporter: Sascha Wilson