Trinidad: Woman moves to pay fine for illegal popcorn vendor

Trinidad: Woman moves to pay fine for illegal popcorn vendor
Kevin Thomas also known as popcorn man, stands outside the San Fernand Court with police officers on Tuesday. * TONY HOWELL

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — “Every­body de­serves a sec­ond chance.” This is why a 30-year-old cler­i­cal work­er wants to pay the fines im­posed on pop­corn ven­dor Kevin Thomas for il­le­gal­ly vend­ing on Low­er High Street, San Fer­nan­do.

The Freeport woman, who asked not be im­me­di­ate­ly iden­ti­fied, was touched by Thomas’ cir­cum­stances.

Thomas, known as the pop­corn man said the on­ly job he could land af­ter com­ing out prison was sell­ing pop­corn from a pop­corn ma­chine.

Af­ter read­ing about how he was charged and fined a to­tal of $600, the woman reached out to the T&T Guardian.

She said, “I saw the Guardian sto­ry on­line. I was deeply moved by it, es­pe­cial­ly giv­en his cir­cum­stances. He came out of prison and he was try­ing to make a hon­est liv­ing. Some peo­ple ac­tu­al­ly don’t have any sup­port and I think most of us we al­ways talk about mak­ing the coun­try a bet­ter place but what do we do every day to do that. The sim­plest and kind­ness ges­ture is help­ing some­one, even if it is a stranger and this will make a dif­fer­ence.”

She asked that her name not be used, but she con­tact­ed the Guardian be­cause she had no way of reach­ing Thomas, 25, and was not sure how to go about pay­ing the fines.

Nei­ther Thomas, who lives in Mor­vant, nor any oth­er pop­corn ven­dor, were on High Street yes­ter­day. But, an at­tor­ney told Guardian Me­dia that she can just go to the court, give Thomas’ name and the date of his con­vic­tion and she will be al­lowed to pay the fines.

Thomas, who came out of prison sev­en to eight months ago, was ar­rest­ed by mu­nic­i­pal po­lice of­fi­cers around 3.36 pm on Mon­day.

He plead­ed guilty be­fore San Fer­nan­do Mag­is­trate Anselm Le­an­der on Tues­day to three charges, in­clud­ing un­law­ful­ly pitch­ing a stall, of­fer­ing for sale mar­ketable com­modi­ties with­out a li­cence and ob­struct­ing the pas­sage­way of a street.

Thomas told the mag­is­trate that sell­ing pop­corn was his on­ly means of in­come at this time. He ad­mit­ted that he served an 18-month sen­tence for pos­ses­sion of a stolen ve­hi­cle.

“This is the job I had for the while un­til I get some­thing bet­ter,” he said. Thomas was fined $200 on each charge.

He was giv­en a month to pay the fines or in de­fault serve 30 days sim­ple im­pris­on­ment. The mag­is­trate or­dered the po­lice to re­turn the pop­corn ma­chine and the pop­corn to him.


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