A pregnant woman escaped a custodial sentence and a hefty fine when she appeared in the Corporate Area Criminal Court on Tuesday, July 3, for illegal vending in Downtown Kingston.
Pamela Baxter, who appears to be in an advanced state of pregnancy was fined $15,000 for breaching the Metropolitan Act when police accosted her on Beckford Street selling cake soap and rags, among other items.
This marks the second time in a year that Baxter has been before the court for the same matter. The accused told Parish Judge Maxine Ellis that she has no set location and she has been selling downtown for the past four years as a means of gaining an income to support her family, which also includes a five-year-old boy.
However, the judge displayed little leniency while making her ruling after informing the accused of the fine. Baxter made an outburst saying, “But mi nah mek more than 10,000 (dollars)”. In response the judge ordered the accused to be taken into custody, when legal aid intervened.
She escaped a custodial sentence when a different attorney asked the judge if there could be a two-month payment plan which would be convenient for the accused as she is due to deliver her baby sometime this month.
Judge Ellis, after taking things into consideration accepted the position of the attorney who intervened and the $15,000 fine will be paid at a later date.
Judge Ellis, agreed with the attorney’s suggestion and has given Baxter a two-month period to pay off the $15,000 fine. On the day she made a $5,000 payment.
Baxter is to return to court on September 13.