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Judge Horace Mitchell hailed as respectful, fair-minded

Observer staff reporter

Friday, September 17, 2021

BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Parish Court Judge Horace Mitchell was yesterday hailed by members of the Bar as fair-minded, even-tempered, and respectful to all.

Mitchell reportedly died at hospital yesterday from complications associated with COVID-19.

“He was a very down-to-earth and respectful person, so regardless of where you found yourself, he treated you with respect, no matter how heinous the crime was, he treated you with respect,” said St Elizabeth attorney Yushaine Morgan.

“He was very courteous towards counsel and prompt — always on time and very practical in how he dealt with his cases. He shall surely be missed,” added Morgan.

He said that Mitchell started out as a deputy clerk of court in the Manchester Resident Magistrate's Court (now Parish Court).

“He then went and did his LLB [bachelor of laws] and went to Norman Manley [Law School] and was called to the Bar. Shortly thereafter he was appointed judge,” said Morgan.

Mitchell served in Clarendon, St Catherine, and St Elizabeth.

Morgan said he was shocked to hear that Mitchell had contracted the novel coronavirus.

“The truth is, in terms of the [COVID-19] protocols, he was extremely vigilant. Mr Mitchell has been wearing a mask from [even] before the Government made it a mandate for persons to wear masks,” said Morgan.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn, in addressing the opening of the Michaelmas term of the Home Circuit Court, reflected on the passing of attorneys and members of the judiciary.

“My condolence to the families, colleagues, and friends of Mr Stanley Clarke, Mr Horace Mitchell, and also attorneys at law at the private Bar. I was so very discombobulated, so saddened to hear about the most recent transitions in Mr Howard Hamilton, Queen's Counsel; Mr Ernie Smith. It is just getting so numerous, but I think we all have to just treasure the memories that we have of all these individuals, who, in the final analysis, chose this noble profession of the law and they gave it their best,” said the DPP.

In his tribute to Mitchell, attorney Jeremy Palmer said, “I had a lot to do with him over the last five years. I found him to be a very good judge. This is a man whose temperament was perfectly suited for being a judge. He was balanced, even-tempered. I am sure that he will be missed by the Bar and other interests in the parish of St Elizabeth.”