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Lawyer upset that teen client is missing school

Lawyer upset that teen client is missing school

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The fact that his teenage client has already missed five days of school is of concern to defence lawyer Israel Bruce.

“Shabazaah GunMunro-George, who is also before the court in this matter, is now five days before the court, away from school. A student, a fourth form student,” an annoyed Bruce told SEARCHLIGHT last Friday outside the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

The 18-year-old student of the Intermediate High School was charged on December 29, 2015 with “obstructing Corporal 632 Morris, acting in due execution of his duty and that he, without lawful excuse, had in his possession an offensive weapon, to wit a zapper.”

GunMunro-George’s matter is being heard along with that of politician Ben Exeter, who faces charges of assault and resisting arrest.

Speaking on behalf of his client, Bruce said GunMunro-George was taking photographs of what he described as “police indiscretion”.

“What the police were doing at the time was improper and all he was doing is seeking to do as a normal bystander would do, seek to document it so that in the event it becomes important for court procedure,” said Bruce.

“Shabazaah George now has a charge for obstructing police and the other charge of offensive weapon. I would not comment on that because the real crux of that is yet to come.”

Bruce further stated that in a time of the Education Revolution, a fourth form student is being asked during his “pre-CXC days” to miss school, “because we want to make him a criminal for taking pictures in Kingstown; that can’t be right!” Bruce asserted.

The barrister-at-law maintains that George’s actions are within the perimeters of the law of St Vincent and the Grenadines, which does not restrict persons from taking pictures in a public place.

“He has not gone into somebody’s private property to take their pictures; he was in a public space and for us as a country to seek to criminalize our young people on that basis, then let the world know that that is what we are doing to young people in St Vincent.”

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, George described the court proceedings as “a waste of time,” adding that he was arrested and charged with something that “makes absolutely no sense.”

George said the court dates have affected his studies: “I am missing a whole revision process right now.”

The teenager further stated that he would like to see the process go quickly and that he hopes to get some justice.

“If we don’t, we’ll have to make the necessary steps… Court of Appeal!”

Magistrate Bertie Pompey, after learning that George is approaching two weeks of examinations, adjourned the matter to Monday, June 20, 2016.

“I am happy that the court has been adjourned until after exams,” said George. (AS)

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