Court jaw-droppers in 2023: Entitled thief, ‘rotten children’, disrespectful cabbie and more
The Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court hears thousands of cases each year, and with people from all walks of life appearing before the presiding judges on a daily basis, there are jaw-droppers from time to time.
It is with this in mind that Observer Online compiled a list of moments from the Half Way Tree court this year that not only shocked casual observers, but even the most seasoned judges.
An 18-year-old man pleaded guilty to stealing a cellphone from a woman in January but, while admitting to the crime, he was quick to point out to Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole Montague that he did it because he was hungry and accused a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) of harassing and trying to “sink di thief dem.”
Kevon Russell, who was charged with simple larceny, revealed that he is an orphan who once resided at the Maxfield Park Children’s Home in St Andrew. He said he now lives in the Coronation Market where he operates a “push cart”.
Regarding the cop, he said, “Him [the police officer] ever wah sink di thief dem”, eliciting laughter from the people in the courtroom.
Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world which is often blamed on the disregard for law and order rampant through society. This was on display earlier this year when the court heard that a taxi driver was dragged before Judge Cole-Montague for reportedly threatening to harm a police officer who was issuing him a ticket.
Court documents revealed that on March 23 about 8:00 am, the driver of a white Toyota Probox, Rhon Brissett allegedly made an illegal stop in Half -Way -Tree. The traffic policeman reportedly proceeded to give Brissett a ticket but, while being ticketed, the cabbie allegedly threatened to “pump gunshot” into the cop and was swiftly arrested and charged.
“You were grossly out of order. How dare you say that to the police?” Cole-Montague chided.
Police officers are charged with the great responsibility to serve and protect the people, but one local cop allegedly didn’t get that memo.
The cop, Malron Morris was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm for allegedly punching a man in his face, breaking his jaw, on May 9.
With all the complainant’s medical expenses, Morris may be stuck paying millions in restitution. Talk about a jaw-dropper!
A woman was scolded by Senior Parish Judge Cole-Montague in May after admitting that children in her care defaced her relative’s property with profanities. Shannakay Hayden was brought to the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on the offence of malicious destruction of property. But she pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court was told that a door, bedroom, bathroom and ceiling were painted with words such as “F*** off Trav” and “Gansta at six, don’t disturb.” She said her 13-year-old niece was the one who wrote the abusive words that were directed at a person named Trav.
“This is disgusting,” Cole-Montague said. “Who kill what, who tek pill fi dash weh belly,” the judge continued, as she held photographs provided by the complainant showcasing the damage.
“Is a child under your care do that?”
A man accused of assault claimed through his attorney in November that he has been enduring deplorable conditions behind bars – specifically, a jail cell infested with maggots.
Shawn Valentine made the jaw-dropping allegation as he stood before Judge Carlo Mason for a bail application, which was ultimately postponed until his address could be verified by investigators.
During the proceedings, his attorney, Matthew Hyatt expressed concern about the derelict conditions, stating “I must say that the conditions he’s been living in are deplorable. I am told that the garbage is not being taken out [regularly] and the cells are filled with maggots. I’m not talking about regular maggots enuh, the maggots are big.”
The last thing a woman expected when she hired a funeral home to prepare her father for burial was that she would be in court fighting to get back the $300,000 she spent for services that were not forthcoming.
When her father died on July 27, the complainant reportedly hired Keron Watson, who operated the K and J Supplies Funeral Parlour along with his mother.
The Crown told Senior Parish Judge Cole-Montague that during one of the calls with the complainant, Watson allegedly told her that she should stop calling his phone or he was going to “obeah” her.
Watson, who had a number of similar cases against him, had eventually vowed in October to repay two of his former clients a total of $722,400.
In October, Judge Carlo Mason ordered two defendants accused of robbing a church of items valued $250,000 to attend weekly service on Saturdays.
Judge Mason made the decision after he learnt that on September 22, the complainant, who happens to be a pastor at a Seventh-day Church of God in the Corporate Area, locked up the compound about 2:40 pm. However, he was alerted by King Alarm sometime after 3:00 am that there was a break-in at the church.
“I remember when even badman would turn down their music when they drive pass a church and now we hearing about a church break-in,” Judge Mason said to the defendants Linnel Atkinson and Kedeesha Swaby, who were both charged with sacrilege, before he made the order.
What should have been a joyous moment for one complainant ended with her being assaulted on her birthday by two women she thought were her friends. When Presiding Judge Cole-Montague learnt that the cause of the fight was over $1,000, she was unable to hide her shock.
Chrissian Wint, 23, and Brianna Daley, 22, were both charged with assault occasioning actual harm, however they pleaded not guilty to the charge. But, despite their not-guilty pleas, Wint and Daley told the judge that they did indeed fight on the day the complainant was injured.
“You are not doing a good job choosing your friends,” the judge said to the complainant. “This is a birthday you will never forget.”