Crime Goes on but will Judges Exercise Clemency faced with Covid and Special Cases
Drowning in Drink: Covid and Alcohol Take Their Toll
The curfew with bars closed has its casualties. In this case it was a young Portuguese living near Monaco who had lost his job as barman. Perhaps consoling himself at dinner with a friend he downed six cocktail mixes of beer and wine. If that wasn’t enough to fuel his drunken euphoria he added some port to make sure. Fine so far – in private and in the safety of his friend’s residence. Not fine when he mounted his motorcycle with three times the maximum permitted limit of alcohol and sped off back home breaking the curfew. He was lucky and unlucky. Lucky with the curfew because there were fewer vehicles and pedestrians to provoke an accident. Unlucky that what he hit upon was a curfew police patrol. Obviously dead-drunk he ended up behind bars for the night and subsequently a court appearance. Breaking the curfew for the first time attracts a fine; driving dangerously and drunk is a different kettle of fish and the Court was asked by the prosecution to impose a suspended prison sentence of 20 days and to consider an additional prohibition from driving within the Principality. The Court agreed. The Sword of Damocles hanging over him, the remorseful young man was hardly likely to risk prison next time he drove his motorcycle.
Unemployed and Desperate. Will a First-Time Offender Receive Clemency
Covid is causing a lot of job losses, this time a young saleswomen who found herself in a Monte Carlo nightspot. Desperation took hold of her when another young lady in the same “bar” went to the washroom leaving a 7000 euro luxurious bag on the floor with two expensive portable telephones, a credit card and cash inside of between 100 and 600 euros. The accused took the bag and used the credit card to buy a round of drinks. The mystery of how she managed to do that without knowing the code was never unravelled. But when the owner reported the theft to the police, the bar’s video-security system showed her playing with the phones and the credit card, if not in the video- screen actually stealing the bag. Some astute work by the police identified her. Contacted by the police she panicked and returned the bag and offered restitution but at the same time gave the police a “cock and bull” story that she had bought the bag herself on-line. Landing in court she broke down on being interviewed by the judge and confessed. First time offender, in her early thirties without work and desperate the Court exercised clemency. Instead of jailing her she was given a hefty suspended fine of 1000 euros.
Persistent Belligerence Reaps a Big Fine
A young Turkish man in his vehicle decided persistence and belligerence would get him up to the Rock. He ignored the rules that only 06 and MC registrations were allowed. He tried his luck evading the first police checkpoint up the steep winding road, only to face a reinforced police road-block awaiting him. Adding to his original offense of not stopping when requested by police he was also not able to show his registration, driving license or insurance. A litany of offenses accumulated as he refused to cooperate with police at four requests for documents. His statement that he was “blinded” by pedestrians’ flashlights and couldn’t see the police on the way to take tourist photos on the Rock hardly gained him credibility with the judge. Belligerence and persistency earned him a fine, in total, of over a 1000 euros and no tourist photos to show after his “trip”.