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RM slaps lawyer, clerk of court as ill-mannered, discourteous

BY TANESHA MUNDLE Observer staff reporter mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, August 25, 2012    

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EMBATTLED attorney Sean Kinghorn yesterday narrowly missed spending a few hours in the lock-up, during a sitting of the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's court, after he was accused by Magistrate Georgianna Fraser of being disrespectful to the court.

The dramatic showdown started after the clerk of the court told the attorney that he had already signed for statements which he had already collected in a murder matter involving Lotoya Wilks, who is accused of killing Italian chef Pablo Auigliano. In addition, there was also confusion as to whether the matter was scheduled for mention, thus requiring the presence of the accused who was absent.

The attorney was responding when the clerk told him that he was on his feet and was addressing the court. This led to the intervention of the magistrate who ordered Kinghorn to sit, telling him that he would get his chance to speak.

But before the lawyer could sit, the judge shouted: "Two jackasses cannot bray at the same time."

Shortly after, Kinghorn rose to his feet and attempted to explain the situation, but the magistrate ordered him to directly answer her question. The attorney, who appeared frustrated, then put both hands on his hip, but his posture drew the magistrate's ire. She told him that his behaviour was unacceptable and threatened to have the police escort him to the lock-up.

"Take your hands from off your kimbo!" the magistrate shouted at Kinghorn. "Do you think that is a respectful stance? If lawyers behave like that, how you expect other persons who are before the court to behave," RM Fraser continue.

The matter before the court was then settled after it was noted that an October 29 preliminary hearing date was already fixed and the accused was not required to attend as the matter was for disclosure.

Kinghorn, on hearing that, then walked out while the clerk was being admonished by the magistrate after he attempted to apologise.

"Gone are the days when counsel extends certain courtesy to the bench and to the court," the RM said. "Both of you are ill-mannered and discourteous."

Meanwhile, Kinghorn, who along with his secretary and a farmer is before the court to answer to alleged forgery charges, was told to return to court on October 2.

The lawyer and his co-accused — Ruth Spencer, 26, and Linton Campbell, 64 — all had their bails extended on charges of forgery and conspiracy to defraud after the prosecution told the court that some of the documents in the matter remain outstanding.

The defence, at the last hearing, had requested disclosure of the statements as well as the qualifications of the handwriting expert; but yesterday, they requested an explanation and proof of the qualifications that were received.

The three were charged after a family member of a retired nurse reportedly filed a complaint, claiming that a 2008 Will that the nurse left in Campbell's name, and which was witnessed by Kinghorn and Spencer, was forged.

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