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Cummings questions fairness of judicial system

Cummings questions  fairness of judicial system


An Opposition parliamentarian has questioned the fairness of the judicial system, after a young fashion model was sent to the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Centre (MHC) for two weeks psychiatric assessment, after she allegedly used abusive language to the wife of a Government minister.

Yugge Farrell, 22, of Buddy Gutter, Lowmans Bay, appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on January 5, charged that on January 4 at Granby Street, Kingstown, she did cause a breach of peace by saying to Karen Duncan, wife of Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves, “You dirty b**ch”. Farrell pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Daniel Cummings, parliamentary representative for West Kingstown, speaking on the New Times programme on Nice Radio Wednesday, said from a media report, he understood that when Farrell, one of his constituents, appeared in court, no evidence was provided by the prosecutor to support the request to have her sent for psychiatric analysis.

“How can it be or why should it be that on a simple charge of using language which may be offensive, this young lady is committed to go to an institution for those who have mental problems, to undergo tests?

“…Who is the magistrate to determine that the child needs that, and on what basis? Not a shred of evidence was presented. Or was the evidence presented elsewhere? One has to ask. What was the basis of that action? Was the magistrate party to information that not even the defence counsel had… that the prosecution presented nothing of?” Cummings asked.

He questioned the magistrate’s knowledge of the proceedings and mentioned that Farrell was clearly traumatized. Cummings said the incident demonstrates that people in authority feel that the law does not apply to them.

“This incident to me speaks to so many wrongs in our society. This matter speaks to the inability for ordinary folk to access the fairness of the judicial system, to have equal opportunity. To get treatment across the board as is for king and peasant. It demonstrates in a clear way that those in authority feel that the laws do not apply to them and they can do as they like. But there is a deeper issue here. We have become a society, it appears, where our women folks are fodder; they are playthings. They are to be used, abused and discarded. And it is sickening to the core,” said Cummings.

Farrell has, on social media, alleged that she has had intimate relations with Camillo Gonsalves.

Cummings demanded that the law should be followed.

“The law has a particular course of action. It must be followed. We must respect the law. We are a law-abiding society, so we are told….

“I want to make an appeal to the people of this country. I have watched and listened to some comments on various media. It is disgusting. We must stop it. The victim here is the young lady,” Cummings said. He asked that persons make sure that Farrell’s dignity is restored and where necessary, to provide help for her and her family.

Cummings ended by asking Vincentians to put their feet down, “to get rid of this corrupt regime and bring back morality. Bring back integrity and get this country going again.”

Section 115(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code Cap. 172 of the Laws of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Section 7(1) of the Mental Health Act Cap. 294 make provisions for the court, during the course of a trial, to order that a person be detained for medical observation if the court has reason to believe that the accused may be of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his/her defence.

The period of detention should not exceed one month and the order may be appealed.(CB)