COMMENTARY: Yugge Farrell – Victim To Villain

Farrel (IWN photo)


Behaviorally, there comes a time when lines of demarcation shall be drawn to guide conduct bordering ‘…stupidity; …incivility or criminality.’ None may deny that in every walk of life or strata of society, there has been constant mental and physical abuse of the sexes. Few may deny that these reflect the unpredictable and sometimes predictable violent nature of man. Civilized societies have not only frowned this into discouragement, but also into criminal prosecutions. This may have been evident by recent Court decisions across the region that saw the imposition of the dreaded penalty of incarceration on those found guilty of that which has been called ‘…Spousal Abuse,’ now statutorily defined as ‘…Domestic Violence.’ Then there has been the unruly and disrespectful nature of man. In some instances, it has been the inappropriate use of language in venting sudden or pent-up feelings that had provoked consternation, public outrage or had triggered criminal prosecutions. Undoubtedly, the case involving former Vincentian fashion/model Yugge Farrell 23, speaks vividly to these.


Though not revealed every day, the use of certain language has in fact been a secret everyday occurrence. Publicly, it has often caused disquiet among law-abiding people. Even as public curiosity has often been excited and feelings had been incensed, the incident involving Vincentian-born former fashion/model Yugge Farrell 23 continues to dominate the pages of many news portals. In the end, the defendant had been seen more of a ‘…Victim than a Villain.’ The incident had stirred emotions, thereby evoking interest across the nation and by extension, the region. In spite of its apparent tortuous nature and background circumstances of an alleged ‘…adulterous affair with a brazen self-confessed fornicator,’ law enforcement personnel had apparently failed to guide their actions in a manner consistent with a commonsense approach.Though the incident, in and by itself may not have significantly impacted negatively the public interest, it was sufficient to have earned public empathy and wide media coverage.


Good law enforcement practice may have dictated that the aggrieved party shall have been prudently advised to institute litigious proceedings for tort. Such course of action often saves time and public embarrassment. However, seemingly placed under ‘…severe environmental pressure,’ the Police department appeared to have succumbed, and initiated criminal proceedings against the defendant and former fashion/model Yugge Farrell 23[SVG: January 4, 2018]. There may be no doubt that the incident involving the defendant was mired in controversy. Yet certain un-denied media reports of claims attributed to the defendant were advisedly accorded and/or treated with the coined phrase ‘…Dignified Silence’ [Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves: IWN: January 16, 2018].


While the Constitution provides for the ‘…Presumption of Innocence’ and remains a tenet of democracy, social norm and societal rules have given clear public understanding that ‘…Breaches of the Peace’ shall not only be prevented, but also prosecuted. This has been a civil society-demand and the dictates of civil behavior. Though the alleged offender may have been seen or claimed to have been a ‘…Victim of Circumstance,’ she may ‘…count her blessings one by one.’ Though she had not been vindicated by trial, in the face of prosecutorial and other adversities, she had victoriously walked away from a summary trial.This came after an almost year-long embarrassing period of a single adjournment for trial of an offence allegedly committed on ‘…January 2018 for trial in December 2018.’


The dates of great significance to history and posterity, have been ‘…January 4 and 5, 2018.’ These reflect the days on which the defendant was (a) …arrested and charged; and (c) …brought under police escort before adjudicating Magistrate Bertie Pompey. Most notably, was the female police Prosecutor Constable Corlene Samuel’s, who either guided by instructions or by an impulsive application and an Order by then presiding Magistrate Bertie Pompey, caused the fashion/model to be institutionalized at the Glenn’s Psychiatric Center. There she had been confined without ‘…psychiatric evidence or referrals. She was subjected to a first instance two-week period under ‘…psychiatric watch; …care and evaluation’ as a person ‘…lacking sound memory and discretion.’


It was obvious that the prosecution had ‘…Anticipated a Guilty Plea.’ Such would have eliminated a full trial and save the Virtual Complainant the embarrassment of giving evidence as to what had transpired at her workplace on the day in question [January 4, 2018]. With such a plea only brief facts of the case would have been presented to the Court. From professional knowledge and experience, this was another juncture where it appeared that further travesty’ had occurred. For then, a sane defendant was now considered insane after she had consciously pleaded Not Guilty to the complaint then under magisterial consideration. In fact, there were more people sitting on Bus Stops and institution benches or standing in queues or places of public resort who may have been considered more mentally unstable than had been the former fashion/model Yugge Farrell.


There were two significant developments that appeared to have offended a good sense of judgment. These speak to (i) …an arrest effected, not as a result of what the arresting officer had witnessed or heard for himself, or to prevent a further breach of the peace, but rather  ‘…On Charge of a Third Person; and (ii) …an offence starved of gravity. These are usually determinants to an immediate arrest or that which often place an officer under consideration to proceed alternately by way of the issuance of Summons. To all intents and purposes, the overzealous or docile or officers placed under compulsion to do the unthinkable- resorting to arrest. Ironically, if not most disturbingly, the ‘…psychiatric confinement order’ that seemingly came before presiding Magistrate Bertie Pompey had completed entry of the defendant’s ‘…Plea of Not Guilty’ in the record for the Notes of Evidence.


From that which was reported in the local, regional and international media, ‘…Travesty’ begun at the Chambers of the nation’s Attorney General, where the Defendant had reportedly visited for the purpose of delivering ‘…By Safe Hand,’ a letter purportedly authored by her to the addressee, a legal officer within those Chambers and identified as ‘…Karen Duncan-Gonsalves. Incidentally, she was reported to be the lawful-wedded wife of the nation’s Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves [IWN: January 5, 2018]. It was then the defendant was alleged to have made use of language, said to be insulting to the legal officer. However, as the defendant sought to exit the government’s premises, it was revealed that a senior officer within the Chambers of the Attorney General directed Gate-security personnel to lock her within the confines of the public premises.


Advisedly, the aggrieved party and eventual Virtual Complainant had reported the incident to the local police. Except for the defendant’s confinement against her will on the referred premises, and no further breach of the peace was occasioned or threatened, she was immediately arrested and taken to the Kingstown Police Headquarters where she was held and formally charged with ‘…Insulting Language’[IWN: January 5, 2018]. The apparent reactive response by the Police going only off that which was reported by the Virtual Complainant, speaks to ‘…Aggravated Travesty.’ It was obvious that this was the point of intervention that had triggered the unfolding events of (a) …False imprisonment by Gate Security personnel; (b) …Detention by police; (c) …Arrest; (d) …Insulting Language charge; (d) …Prosecution; and (e) …Institutional confinement as a suspected mentally deranged defendant.’


This was a very unique case with a very unique set of circumstances. Incidentally, the case had borne no relationship to the often plethora of pending cases and the plaguing jurisdictional issue of a ‘…shortage of adjudicators.’ Likened to ripples in still water, the apparent extraordinary developments and adjournment may have precipitated possible pending jurisdictional re-assignments of adjudicators within the Magistracy. Instructively, these came immediately after the summary charge of ‘…Insulting Language’ was formally read to the unrepresented defendant by the then presiding Magistrate and the apparent ‘…Questionable Order’ of confinement at the Glenn’s psychiatric facility. While it may have been purely coincidental, reasonable inferences may have been drawn that when Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett took over the Kingstown Magisterial Jurisdiction from colleague Bertie Pompey, this may have been among more rational considerations that saw the almost instantaneous shifts within the Magistracy.


In the instant case, though not necessarily had been troubling to the defendant and her defence team, it appeared much more of a bother to the apparent beleaguered prosecutor Corlene Samuel and the apparent ‘…reasonable suspect action’ of the then adjudicator Magistrate Bertie Pompey. In matters like these, particularly as they may involve ‘…high-profile persons,’ it has often become much too painful and embarrassing to have ‘…dirty linen washed in public,’ let alone in open Court.  Reasonable inferences may have been drawn that the ‘…Public Outrage’ and widespread media coverage had saved the day for the virtual complainant. It may have been for prevailing commonsense, that she had decided not to proceed with the case. This being the case, the prosecution would have been ‘…courteously informed.’ Since there was no virtual complainant to give evidence against the defendant, likened to ‘…an unwanted pregnancy,’ the prosecution and trial had been aborted.


Even as the media had suggested, this was clearly not a case that had been ‘…Dismissed For Want of Prosecution (DWOP).’ Cases that may have fallen under this legal terminology, were usually those when specific or final adjournment dates were fixed by the Court and the Prosecution had no file to proceed with the trial, or where a virtual complainant having been notified or personally informed by a Summons or Court Orderly, showed no interest in making an appearance. Given the number of adjournments or lengthy adjournment, a prosecutor would have no legitimate excuse not to be ready for trial. Even without an application from Defence Counsel, the Court may take ‘…Judicial Notice’ of that which was to the knowledge of the Court, and specifically the number of adjournments and its own fixtures. In so doing, an adjudicator may reasonably dismiss whatever Complaints under magisterial consideration and/or determination before it, if he/she were satisfied that ‘…justice delayed’ would amount to an egregious denial of justice.


Likened to some unsavory developments, there has to be a ‘…Scapegoat.’ It appeared that the lot had fallen upon the innocence and docility of the female police prosecutor Constable Corlene Samuel. In the high-profile case, the decision to withdraw or discontinue resided only with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Reasonable inferences may have been drawn that he had considered it not in the public interest to proceed to trial. When the matter came up for trial on the duly Court-fixed date [December 17, 2018], clearly acting upon prosecutorial instructions, the prosecutor, whether ashamedly or unabashedly, simply informed the presiding Magistrate that it would wish to withdraw the charge. This time there was the visible non-appearance of the Director of Public Prosecutions. There were also no follow-up arguments respecting the defendant’s sanity or state of mind and/or her competence in taking a second plea to the rather mundane summary offence, ‘…Making use of Insulting Language.’


Having informed the Court of the ‘…Prosecutorial Decision,’ it was non-consequential that the Defence had requested the Court to ‘…Dismiss the Complaint for Want of Prosecution.’ The adjudicator was therefore, bound to ‘…Dismiss the Complaint on Oath.’ This effectively marked the finite end of the criminal proceedings. Even with the withdrawal of the Complaint, this shall not necessarily preclude the virtual complainant in instituting civil proceedings against the alleged offender. Conversely, the end of the prosecutorial proceedings now opens the door for the defendant to look at instituting compensatory litigious proceedings against (i) …the Attorney general in his capacity as the principal legal advisor to the Government [CO: 1979: Section 63]; (ii) …the Commissioner of Police in whose name the Complaint was filed; and (iii) …the arresting office for his action that appeared starved of professional discretion and justification.’ Except an act of perjury, affidavits will undoubtedly show certain investigative errors, while legal arguments would most likely reveal prosecutorial and initial adjudicating blunders.


In consequence of litigious proceedings, the joined-parties could face litigation for inter alia, (a) … False Imprisonment on premises that houses the Chambers of the Attorney General; (b) …Unlawful arrest; (c) …Abuse of power and process; and (d) …Malicious prosecution.’ Notwithstanding that the virtual complainant Karen Duncan-Gonsalves had reportedly made an official report to the Police, none shall accuse her of dictating the string of events that followed. Thus, she may not have directed the Commissioner of Police what he shall do or how he shall have performed his law enforcement duties. It was evident that attorney Kay Bacchus-Baptiste who reportedly held ‘…Watching Brief’ for the former fashion/model, could be placing those responsible for the apparent indignities and inconvenience suffered on notice for legal redress for courses of action that they may find indefensible or justified. Suffice it to say that as much as there are risks, impulsive and/or irrational actions have often reflected poor operational and/or prosecutorial judgment.


As the extraordinary lengthy adjourned date marked the end of an agonizing wait for the criminal trial of the former Vincentian fashion-model Yugge Farrell, there appears to have been harbored fears that the matter could still be resuscitated and reinstituted. This appeared more of a ‘…Figment of Imagination,’ than reality. The former fashion/model need not be worried over such fears. As the New Year approaches, all may wish her exceedingly well in whatever her pursuits in the future may be. Consequently, she may put behind her that which had undoubtedly caused her much pain, anxieties, uneasiness and frustration. Strengthened by her faith and beliefs, she may seek to restore some semblance of normalcy back into her youthful life.


Given her trials and tribulations, all may now wish to admonish the Police Service that at all material times, it shall endeavor to seek to inculcate in the minds of the populace trust and confidence. They shall display a good sense of duty that allows for favorable inferences to be drawn by those they are obliged to ‘…protect and serve.’ This shall not only be reflected in actions that speak to ‘…independence; …impartiality; …rationality; …justice and fair-play,’ but also conduct that reflects integrity in the service they provide and duties they perform. These shall remove feelings of apathy, replacing them with inspired feelings of appreciation by the citizenry. It may also lend encouragement to personnel for the difficult task not only in preventing and detecting crime, but also in maintaining the ‘…Rule of Law.’ While law enforcement personnel shall uphold the founding constitutional principle that states that ‘…the law symbolizes the public conscience,’ adjudicators, as in the case of Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, who continues to acquit himself exceedingly well, showing that the Court of First Instance remains the ‘…Bastion of Hope.’ More fundamentally, decisions of the Courts shall not only show that ‘…Justice was done, but manifestly and undoubtedly seen to have been done’ [1924: R v Sussex Justices Ex parte: 1KB: 256]. This augurs well for partnership in the fight against crime and violence, as well as the jurisprudence of the nation.

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  1. Ralph and his son ought to be ashamed of themselves. They tried to put this girl through hell. Camilo needs to stay faithful to his wife or get a divorce.

  2. An object lesson for all the beautiful young girls (and boys) who believe the nonsense men tell them, especially politicians. She is one of the most beautiful girls and had a long modeling career ahead of her. I hope she can regain her life and escape from this hell.

  3. What an embarassment, abuse of public office and of the sought. Anyone who charges somone for such mild so called abusive language was seeking vindictive revenge and cared little about the law or wasting the courts time. This type of intimidation thiugh difficult to prove in a court should be outlawed and not the abusive language. However, both are so vague and a matter of personal opinion. Pure side show circus act, unfortunately this is the end for the Gonsalves. The vincey people are starting to removr the wool from their eyes and see clearly. This is what happen when power gets to your head, you feel invincible.

  4. Hey was going to read this but then i realized it was longer that the bible and would not have gain any thing of substance from it……hey the person that wrote this do a research study on marijuana and how great it is for the sick and how the system was wrong to lock people up for a simple spliff,that would be interesting…….hey and you would never run out of material ever thanks

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