Dancehall superstar Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis pleaded guilty to a breach of the curfew, contrary to the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) order, when he appeared before the St Elizabeth Parish Court in Black River, St Elizabeth on Monday.
“Beenie Man’ pleaded guilty to the breach and we will be going back to court on May 14th to make a final plea in mitigation. On that date, Beenie Man will be sentenced, and he is likely to be fined. We will now have the opportunity to lay out the circumstances why it should not be a heavy fine,” attorney-at-law Roderick Gordon, who is representing Beenie Man in this matter, has indicated.
‘Beenie Man’ pleaded guilty because he wanted to take a responsible approach given that he is an elder of the global music community,” Gordon added.
Earlier this year, the ‘Who Am I’ deejay had pleaded not guilty when he first appeared before the court in February to answer the charges that stemmed from an alleged illegal party in late November 2020. At that time, his bail was extended.
In court on Monday, the Crown dropped the charge relating to the Noise Abatement Act, which had suggested that the deejay had failed to obtain permission from the Superintendent, contrary to the Noise Abatement Act. Gordon was pleased when the Crown indicated they would not be pursuing this charge.
“We had regarded the Noise Abatement Act charge as the more significant one because it suggested he had not applied for a permit, suggesting he was somehow having music played without proper permission and without paying the fee and that is not the case, so we were very pleased that the Crown withdrew that charge,” Gordon said.
The DRMA was amended by the House of Representatives on March 23 and individuals found in breach of the health protocols now face fines ranging from J$3,000 to J$500,000. A J$10,000 fine is imposed for failure to stay inside a place of residence during a curfew.
Beenie Man had been slapped with the two charges in connection to an illegal party in the Shrewsbury district of St Elizabeth on November 29. The Black River police turned up at the party, dispersed the crowd, and Beenie was warned for prosecution.
The 47-year-old singer’s promotion of a subsequent New Year’s Eve party in December further earned the ire of police in St Elizabeth. He was summoned to a police station in the southwest Jamaica parish on New Year’s Eve, and was charged for breaching protocols with the November 29 party.