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In the interest of all concerned, drop the charge, Mr DPP

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The case against Yugge Farrell should be discontinued.

We humbly submit that this course of action would be in the best interest of the public, Farrell, and the complainant, Karen Duncan.

Given the relatively trivial nature of the crime with which Farrell is charged, for which the court is likely to impose a nominal penalty if she is found guilty, it cannot be prudent for the media circus that has developed from this sordid mess to continue for much longer.

According to information revealed by Farrell’s lawyer in court last Monday, the 23-year-old has been grappling with mental health issues since last February, at the very least. Restoring Farrell to health should be a major priority and that cannot happen if her charge remains live and she is forced ro make repeated appearances before the magistrate.

Of course, in arriving at a decision to nolle prosequi a case, there must be a balance between the defendant’s health, justice for all concerned and the need to safeguard those involved and/or members of the public.

There are other victims in this matter, two of whom are complainant Karen Duncan and her seven-year-old daughter. It is at Duncan’s workplace on January 4 that Farrell is alleged to have gone and behaved in a certain manner which led to the imposition of the charge. It is also alleged that over the last year and a half or so, Farrell’s behaviour made it impossible for Duncan and others to walk the streets in peace. The police are also in possession of letters in which Farrell is alleged to have made threats on the life of Duncan and her daughter. Has Duncan no right to seek justice or relief? Yes, definitely, but continuation of the court proceedings, given what is taking place now, will not give the desired outcome.

Also could Duncan’s absence from court last Monday be interpreted to mean that she, too, is dismayed by the turn of events and would prefer an alternative means of dealing with the matter? We believe that justice in this matter will not be achieved through what has now become a national distraction.

Discontinuing the case does not necessarily mean that Farrell should be released without being made to continue treatment under the supervision of qualified professionals. However, the determination of the form that help should take, and where and when it should be administered is a decision for mental health professionals, in consultation with Farrell’s parents and perhaps her lawyer.

This is a matter that should not be corrupted by the poison of partisan politics. There are far too many band wagonists who claim to be in Farrell’s corner, but care little about her, but very much about how she could be used to inflict political damage to Camillo Gonsalves and the Unity Labour Party.

In their quest to use this woman for their selfish ends, vicious attacks are also being made on the competence and qualifications of the professionals at the Mental Health Centre who are only trying to do their jobs. According to reports, the life of one doctor has been threatened. This is what is crazy behaviour and it must stop.

Mr DPP, in the interest of all concerned, clothe yourself in the blanket of mercy and drop the charge.

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