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Chief Magistrate Young hangs up gavel in SVG

Chief Magistrate Young hangs up gavel in SVG

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Chief Magistrate Sonya Young says she is looking forward to her new challenge, as she is expected to take up duties as a judge in Belize soon.{{more}}

The sombre mood of court staff, police officers and other members of the legal profession spoke volumes, as Young sat for the last time at the Serious Offences Court as Chief Magistrate, last Friday.

At the end of court, counsel at the bar table thanked Young for her time as Chief Magistrate and wished her success in her future endeavours.

Just when senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpeche rose to his feet, the magistrate stopped him, stating that she does not deal well with such situations.

Speaking to reporters following visits from police officers, members of the Financial Intelligence Unit, among others, Young stated that she is happy that her formative period as a judicial officer has been here in her homeland.

“I just want to thank the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, my family, my staff and all who have supported me. I have enjoyed it,” Young said.

Young, who is known to have a no nonsense approach when she presides at the court, failed miserably to hold back the already gushing tears when asked about her new sojourn.

“I am looking forward to it. Certainly it will be challenging, but I want to try. I want to see if I can… I’ll miss my family most,” Young said as she slipped her well manicured fingers under her glasses to wipe the tears from her eyes.

“I close this chapter and move one. I can’t move on without remembering the people who have supported me,” she said.

Young expressed most gratitude to God and her family, who she said were like a “buffer” between her and the world.

“They protected me. Thank God for putting his hands when things got rough. Thank him for all these opportunities and for putting people in my life and making this journey easier,” Young said.

Young also recalled some of her most memorable experiences as Chief Magistrate.

“The Antonio Gellizeau case was a long, difficult trial. The political matters involving Luke Browne, and when my officer shot that man…,” Young said.

She was at the time speaking about the matter where Anthony “Scarface” Hamilton was shot by police corporal Alvin Gibson, after he was attacked by Hamilton in the washroom at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court last year.

“I know that I could not have done the work that I have done if I did not have that support. I just couldn’t. It would have just been beyond me,” Young said, speaking highly of clerk Anetta Rodriguez and Gibson.

Young added that she was able to walk the streets normally, because she was not fearful.

“My officers were with me and I just did not have to worry at all. Whenever they were with me, I know I am safe, with which-ever one, but Gibson has been with me the longest and now they are just like family to me,” she said.

The laughs came when Young indicated that Gibson and Roderiguez among others stated that they wanted to go with her.

Rodriguez, who was present at time said “Of course, I will go.”

“Thank you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity,” Young ended.

PC 754 Chewitt, who is attached to the Serious Offences Court, indicated that she will greatly miss Young and stated that she wished Young did not have to leave.

“It was really a great experience working with her. She’s a woman I have grown to love. She will truly be missed,” Chewitt told SEARCHLIGHT.

Young took up duties here as Chief Magistrate in 2008.

No one has yet been tipped to replace her.

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