“Everybody deserves a second chance.”
This is why a 30-year-old clerical worker wants to pay the fines imposed on popcorn vendor Kevin Thomas for illegally vending on Lower High Street, San Fernando.
The Freeport woman, who asked not be immediately identified, was touched by Thomas’ circumstances.
Thomas, known as the popcorn man said the only job he could land after coming out prison was selling popcorn from a popcorn machine.
After reading about how he was charged and fined a total of $600, the woman reached out to the T&T Guardian.
She said, “I saw the Guardian story online. I was deeply moved by it, especially given his circumstances. He came out of prison and he was trying to make a honest living. Some people actually don’t have any support and I think most of us we always talk about making the country a better place but what do we do every day to do that. The simplest and kindness gesture is helping someone, even if it is a stranger and this will make a difference.”
She asked that her name not be used, but she contacted the Guardian because she had no way of reaching Thomas, 25, and was not sure how to go about paying the fines.
Neither Thomas, who lives in Morvant, nor any other popcorn vendor, were on High Street yesterday. But, an attorney told Guardian Media that she can just go to the court, give Thomas’ name and the date of his conviction and she will be allowed to pay the fines.
Thomas, who came out of prison seven to eight months ago, was arrested by municipal police officers around 3.36 pm on Monday.
He pleaded guilty before San Fernando Magistrate Anselm Leander on Tuesday to three charges, including unlawfully pitching a stall, offering for sale marketable commodities without a licence and obstructing the passageway of a street.
Thomas told the magistrate that selling popcorn was his only means of income at this time. He admitted that he served an 18-month sentence for possession of a stolen vehicle.
“This is the job I had for the while until I get something better,” he said. Thomas was fined $200 on each charge.
He was given a month to pay the fines or in default serve 30 days simple imprisonment. The magistrate ordered the police to return the popcorn machine and the popcorn to him.
- by Sascha Wilson. Photo by Tony Howell.