Turtle killer fined $50,000
Leroy McDonald, who was captured on video butchering a Hawksbill turtle, was sentenced to serve one month in prison or pay a fine of $50,000. The video was widely circulated on social media last year.
The Mandeville, Manchester, resident was also ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service when he faced the court on Tuesday.
Manchester Parish Judge Dale Staple sentenced McDonald after he pleaded guilty to charges of possession of and hunting a protected animal.
Morjorn Wallock, director of legal services and enforcement at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), said the conviction serves as a deterrent, and she reminded the public that it is an offence under the Wild Life Protection Act to possess, hunt, kill, capture or wilfully molest any protected animal.
Individuals found guilty of such offences may be charged a maximum fine of $100,000 or face one year of imprisonment. NEPA urges members of the public to report any such illegal activity by calling 754-7540 or 1-888-991-5005. Persons may also call 119 or make a report to the nearest police station.
The full list of species covered by the Wild Life Protection Act is available on NEPA's website at www.nepa.gov.jm.