Popular soca artiste, “Shatta Rickey” is one of two persons who appeared in court last week Friday in connection with incidents involving cruise passengers to the island.
The arrest of Alrio Abraham who is known on the local soca circle as “Shatta Rickey” and Kent Patrice of Cherry Hill, St. George’s came as the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) moved to get tough with persons who harass visitors to the country, especially during the current 2012-2013 winter cruise ship season.
The two were individually charged after they came in contact with tourists on board the Queen Victoria Cruise Ship last week Wednesday.
Police Prosecutor Terrence Andall pleaded with Magistrate Karen Noel to be tough in her sentencing of Patrice, and “Shatta Rickey” due to the negative consequences harassment of tourist can have on the local economy.
Constable Andall argued that due to the current economic situation that is being faced by the country, the tourism industry is a major source of revenue for the country and has to be protected.
Patrice was brought to court on charges of disorderly behaviour, and using obscene language on the world famous Grand Anse Beach.
Constable Andall told the court that this popular beach is the place where most visitors to the island go for relaxation, and expressed fears that once Patrice continues to be on the beach, there would always be harassment of tourists.
The Police Prosecutor stressed that the accused should not be allowed to destroy the industry on which so many people depend for their livelihood.
He warned that the only way visitors can be protected is if Patrice was confined to “a safe place” where he would not be able to interfere with tourists.
Constable Andall presented to the court a plethora of convictions Patrice already has against visitors to the island, the latest being on July 10.
In his defense, Patrice told Magistrate Noel he was trying to assist the tourist with a beach chair and made a plea to the Magistrate not to send him to prison since he has two children who depend him.
He confessed that he was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
Magistrate Noel imposed a fine of $750.00 on the charge of obscene language on Patrice, and reprimanded and discharged him on the charge of disorderly behaviour.
In the case of “Shatta Rickey” who also appeared before Magistrate Noel last week Friday, he also pleaded guilty to a charge of harassment of an elderly couple from the cruise ship.
The court was told that a police officer who was stationed at the Bruce Street Mall in St. George’s noticed that the soca artiste had pulled out a donation list from his pocket and approached the visitors seeking money.
The Police Prosecutor told the court Abraham has a set of convictions that include gambling, forgery, fraud, and obtaining credit by fraud.
The last conviction was February 24 when he was fined $1,000.00 for committing an offence.
In his defense, Abraham spoke of only doing a civic duty by directing the elderly tourist couple to where the Spice Market is located.
He said he was explaining to the tourists that they can also purchase what they wanted from the vendors at the mall when a policeman accosted him.
Abraham reported that in the process of being arrested, he was assaulted by the police officer.
He was fined $500.00 by Magistrate Noel to be paid in four months and in default spend four months in prison.
Shatta Rickey shot to fame in 2010 when he sang the popular song, “Ting You Like.”
This year during the soca monarch competition he placed 16th with the song, “I Will Never Surrender.”
The winter cruise ship season will run until May 17, 2013.