Crime & Court

City Loiterers Plead Guilty

Mere Lekutu, 33, Marica Kautani, 31, and Sonia Begum, 45, pleaded guilty to a charge of not following lawful orders.
29 Apr 2021 09:04
City Loiterers Plead Guilty
From left: Marica Kautani, Mere Lekutu and Sonia Begum outside the Suva Magistrates Court on April 28, 2021. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Three women who were in Suva for reasons other than those specified by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for COVID restrictions have been ordered to pay $300 each.

The women failed to practise social distancing at the Post Office arcade in Suva.

Mere Lekutu, 33, Marica Kautani, 31, and Sonia Begum, 45, pleaded guilty to a charge of not following lawful orders.

The Magistrates Court heard that on Tuesday, April 27, at around 9am, Police officers who were on duty saw the women sitting together near the arcade.

The officers told the women that they needed to follow social distancing protocols and there was a restriction on movement.

The women told the officers that they were in the city to look for money.

The court heard that the officers returned to the vicinity at 9.30am and 10.13am and found the three women still there. The three were then arrested and taken into Police custody.

However, first accused Mere Lekutu told Magistrate Jeremaia Savou that Police saw them once and they were then taken in.

Magistrate Savou said he noted what Lekutu had said.

He asked the three accused if there was any supermarket, pharmacy or doctor around where they were and if they had reasons to be in the city.

The women said they were single mothers with dependent children.

They have until July 7 to pay the $300 fine or face one month in jail.

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu

Feedback: losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj



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