Woman fined for selling unfit ackees
The Manchester woman who was arrested after she was seen cutting open unfit ackee pods while plying her wares at the Charles Gordon Market, St James, was slapped with a J$20,000 fine after she pleaded guilty in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court last week.
Pauline Powell, of Evergreen, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Public Health Act when she appeared before Presiding Magistrate Natalie Hart-Hines. She was ordered to pay the fine of $20,000 or spend 10 days in prison.
The facts are that on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 a policeman was on foot patrol at the Charles Gordon Market when he saw Powell using a knife to pry open ackee pods, which were contained in four crocus bags.
Powell was arrested and charged with committing breaches of the Agricultural Produce Act and the Unlawful Possession of Property Act. Her case had been set to go to trial, but following consultations with her attorney, she pleaded guilty to breaching the regulations of the Public Health Act.
fit for consumption
Ackee is only considered fit for consumption when the pods open naturally while still attached to a tree.
In court, Powell's attorney Martyn Thomas explained to Hart-Hines that the defendant had purchased the produce from an ackee truck, which was passing through her community. She subsequently took the ackees to market for sale.
While imposing the fine on Powell, Hart-Hines warned her not to repeat her offense.
"Ma'am, please do not let this happen again. You know ackee is poisonous and can kill people," Hart-Hines said, while admonishing Powell.