Jamaican lawyers in Barbados rally to appeal ‘unfair’ sentence given to Jamaican man who broke quarantine protocols

Dean Scott, a 49-year-old Jamaican mason breached Barbados’s quarantine protocols when he left the island’s quarantine facility to purchase a drink at a nearby shop on December 7.

He reportedly pleaded guilty to contravening Paragraph 14 of the Emergency Management (COVID-19) Curfew Directive 2020. He was unable to pay a fine of BBD $6,000 at the time and was immediately sentenced to six months in prison by Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes.

His case has ignited the fury of many who deem his sentence as unfair, especially when compared to those given out to others guilty of committing the same act.

It’s why two Jamaican-born lawyers in Barbados- Michelle Russell and Keisha Hyde-Porchetta have decided to appeal his case.

The attorneys pointed to the other cases where defendants were given up to seven days to pay the fine. This grace, however, was not extended to Scott who was immediately thrown into prison.

In handing down the sentence, Chief Magistrate Weeks was quoted as saying that it would be a “lesson for all the others”.

However, that same judge fined British reality TV star Zara Holland fined BBD $12,000 for breaking quarantine protocols and gave her 7-days to pay the fine.  

Additionally, a Swiss tourist who was similarly charged for breaking quarantine was fined BBD$6,000 and given seven days to pay.