A MAN has been ordered to pay a $27,524 fine or spend one year in prison.
Yilda Yao was convicted of one count of operating a refreshment bar without holding a valid licence.
The court heard that on April 6, 2009, Yao, who is the owner of Hilda Restaurant located at the Yatu Lau Arcade, operated a business without holding a valid licence in respect of the said premises.
He was taken to court by the Suva City Council (SCC).
High Court judge in Suva Justice Prabaharan Kumararatnam said the matter was transferred from Suva Magistrates Court for the purposes of sentencing because the fine imposed had to exceed the monetary jurisdiction of the Criminal Division of the magistrates court.
In mitigation, the accused submitted that the matter was prolonged in the Magistrates Court largely for compliance.
However, Justice Kumararatnam said the chronology of events submitted by the prosecution clearly indicated that the conduct of the accused in the Magistrates Court as well as in his court resulted in several adjournments.
He said the objectives of sentencing, as found in section 4(1) of the Decree, were to punish offenders to an extent and a manner, which is just in all the circumstances, to protect the community from offenders, to deter offenders or other persons from committing offences of the same or similar nature, to establish conditions so that rehabilitation of offenders may be promoted or facilitated and to signify that the court and the community denounce the commission of such offences. He therefore ordered that the fine be paid in three installments where the first installment of $9000 be paid before April 30, the second installment of $9000 be paid before June 15 and the final installment $9524 to be paid before July 31, 2013.
Justice Kumararatnam ordered that the entire amount be released to the Suva City Council once the fine was paid fully.