British visitor Eniola Aluko (centre) in the company of two police officers after leaving the District A Magistrates Court, August 8. 2020. (Picture by Sandy Pitt)
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British visitor and former Juventus Women’s footballer Eniola Aluko teared up in court Saturday and apologised for leaving her hotel while under quarantine orders.
The 33-year-old’s breach by riding on a ZR was spread across social media by a poster, who complained and revealed her destination. That post led to widespread condemnation of the then unknown woman.
Aluko, who is from London, was staying at Little Arches Hotel in Enterprise, Christ Church and initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of refusing to carry out an order imposed by the Chief Medical Order on August 7.
She later changed her plea and was reprimanded and discharged when she appeared before Magistrate Douglas Frederick in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court.
Prosecutor Sergeant Vernon Waithe at first objected to bail for Aluko stating that the society had to be protect from her. However, Aluko pointed out that her test had come back negative.
Eventually quarantine facility manager Alvin Harte was summoned and confirmed that Aluko’s test was negative and she was cleared to move around without restriction. While a surety for Aluko’s bail was being discussed she indicated that she wanted to change her plea.
The repeat visitor said that she misunderstood what she was supposed to do as she is always sure to wear her mask and social distance. She said coming into Barbados she was confused about the rules but now she understood she had to stay indoors until the test came back.
Frederick told her she knew that if a test was done she had to be quarantined, if not, it made no sense doing the test and a whole set of people would then be jeopardised.
“I came here on the basis that there were more relaxed rules … I love Barbados. I came here in 2015. I came here for vacation. I would never, ever try to break any rules.
“I understand that I should have waited on the test. I didn’t think I had to, I thought I had to wait a maximum of time. Marriotts said there was a delay to the results and then they let me go. Honestly, your worship if they had stopped me from leaving. I would have complied,” Akulo stated.
After Magistrate Frederick told Akulo that he was not minded to give her a fine or imprisonment she started to cry and said she would like to pay a fine because “I feel really bad”.
The magistrate said that the offer to pay a fine showed that she was contrite and he reprimanded and discharged her with the warning to be careful and that the protocols had to be followed. (AC)