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Why use the MCU for a ‘petty’ offence? – Teachers’ Union

Why use the MCU for a ‘petty’ offence? – Teachers’ Union

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Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) Wendy Bynoe says she is mystified as to why one of the union’s members was arrested in the manner she was, for an offence which can be considered “petty”.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, Bynoe questioned why members {{more}}of the Major Crimes Unit (MCU) were sent to arrest secondary school teacher Jozette Bibby and why the arrest was done at school, during school hours.

“The use of the Major Crimes Unit was kind of high handed. We do not use the MCU to do that, do we? I know that in the books of St Vincent and the Grenadines that that is a petty offence. To use the MCU, which we have become accustomed to for dealing with murders and serious offences, is something else,” Bynoe said.

“To appear at her job in full view of students during the height of school time, couldn’t they have done that somewhere else?” the PRO added.

“As far as we know profanity or obscenity or whatever word they want to use, it is a petty crime, so why use the MCU to go for a teacher for obscene language. That is our concern.”

On Monday afternoon, Bibby, a teacher of electronic document preparation management, principles of accounts and information technology at the Bishop’s College Kingstown was arrested and charged with two counts of obscene publication for posts she allegedly made on social networking site Facebook, on Tuesday, February 17, 2015, the day following the general elections in St Kitts/Nevis.

The comments on the Facebook page relate to the change in government in St Kitts/Nevis and the fact that someone by the name of “Ralph” had congratulated the new government.

The first charge is that on February 17, 2015, for the purpose of distribution of public exhibition, Bibby stated: Wunna does r***h*** feel the f*** country is wunna own… they must jail yuh m*** c*** now… all yuh does let power get to all yuh head but even the longest rope have an end.”

The second charge is that for the purpose of distribution of public exhibition, Bibby stated: “Ralph yuh should shame to congratulate the new government of St Kitts them must tell you all yuh m*** c***”

When she appeared in court on Tuesday, Bibby pleaded not guilty to both charges, and as she exited the court, encouraged journalists to take her photograph.

“Make sure you get a full shot of me,” Bibby stated, pausing to pose for the pictures to be taken.

The SVGTU in a release dated March 3 said they were concerned about the manner in which Bibby’s situation was handled by the law enforcement authorities. According to the release, “the alleged use of the MCU, for whatever reason, might be analogous to the proverbial sledgehammer to kill an ant.”

The release further stated: “While the union recognizes free expression and does not condone the violation of laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines in any form, the reported grounds for and manner in which the member was brought before the law are cause for grave concern.”

The release also stated that the SVGTU stands resolute in support of the member, since the law presumes a person innocent, until proven guilty.

Bibby is currently on station bail and is set to reappear in court on March 17, 2015.

Furthermore, Bibby was instructed, yesteday by Chief Personnel Officer, Corrine Gonsalves that she is interdicted from her duties on half salary with immediate effect.

She is also restricted from leaving the state without permision of the Public Service Commission.(KW)

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