PRESS RELEASE – On Thursday 18th, September 2014, Magistrate Robert Innocent of the Second District Court found Miss Maureen Fontinelle of the United Kingdom guilty under Section 471 of the Criminal Code of St. Lucia.
Miss Fontinelle was found guilty of three (3) offences of using and interfering with property without authority and asked to pay EC$500.00 for each offence.
Miss Fontinelle’s conviction came about as a result of a legal suit brought by the State for her involvement in the removal and attempts to reprint three (3) signs which belonged to the Soufriere Foundation.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Soufriere Foundation, Walter Francois, “The verdict should be a lesson to Maureen that she cannot do as she so pleases in this country. This country has laws and she must operate within its limits. He added, “In only a rogue and lawless country would Maureen be allowed to get away with her actions in this matter.”
The signs which cost over EC$5,000.00 were removed on June 26, 2014 at various locations around Soufriere.
The court ruling serves as an initial victory for the Soufriere Foundation who seek to have closure over the operational dispute at the Tet Paul Nature Trail.
In the next month the organization will be going to the civil court for compensation for the cost of the signs and legal cost.