Yugge Farrell gestures as she leaves the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Friday, Jan. 5. (iWN photo)

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association (SVGHRA) said Wednesday that the court has the power to make orders such as the one that saw former model Yugge Farrell being sent to the psychiatric hospital for two weeks’ observation.

The SVGHRA said that no report had been made to it on the matter, but said that it believes that it is “prudent to make a statement at this point in time”, saying that the matter “appears to have consumed sections of the Vincentian Society both here and in the Diaspora”.

The rights group noted that last Friday, Jan. 5, a defendant before a Magistrates’ Court was ordered to be sent to the Mental Health Centre for a period of two weeks for the purpose of an evaluation.

“Under the Laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Revised Edition 2009, a court has the power to make orders of that nature, in particular circumstances as indicated in”

“Section 115(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code Cap. 172 which provides as follows:

“Where in the course of a trial or preliminary inquiry, the court has reason to believe that the accused may be of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence, it shall inquire into the fact of such unsoundness and may, for that purpose, order him to be detained in such place as the court may direct or in such other place as may be provided by any law, for medical observation and report for any period not exceeding one month.”

“Section 7(1) of the Mental Health Act Cap. 294 further states:

“Where a court has ordered that a person charged before it who appears to be incapable of making his/her defence to be detained for report, that person shall be admitted to a psychiatric hospital and detained therein.”

“It MUST be noted however, that any order made by a court for the detention and evaluation of any person can be challenged by way of an appeal, in accordance with the relevant provisions.

“The SVGHRA takes this opportunity to request that the general public refrain from the publication and re-publication of material which is likely to attract liability either criminally, under the Cybercrime Act or civilly, subject to the laws of defamation,” the group said.

Farrell was sent to the psychiatric hospital for evaluation after pleading not guilty at the Kingstown Magistrate’s court that on Jan. 4, she used abusive language to Karen Duncan-Gonsalves, to wit, “you dirty b***h”.

After Farrell pleaded, the prosecution asked that she be sent to the Mental Health Centre for two weeks’ rehabilitation.

The prosecution offered no evidence in support of their application.

Magistrate Bertie Pompey granted the prosecution’s application notwithstanding the strenuous objections by defence counsel Grant Connell.

The matter has led to widespread outcry in light of the fact that the prosecution offered no evidence to support its application and only made the application after Farrell had pleaded guilty.

Farrell has used her social media account to post videos in which she claimed to have had an intimate relationship with Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves.

The minister has not commented on the development, but his younger brother, Storm Gonsalves, says that Camillo knows of, but does not know Farrell.

Storm, who has deemed Farrell “crazy”, although he has no known training in psychiatry, said on Monday that Farrell had repeatedly threatened his brother and his family.

7 replies on “Court acted within its power — rights group”

  1. I strongly disagree with this story. The Court’s action was improper. It would make more sense to order a social inquiry into the lady’s back ground. What expertise did the court rely on when making such a decision. That magistrate should resign office.
    The Court cannot decide if someone is incapable of standing trial by just looking at them. It is highly irregular and intensely suspect that a court would make such ruling by merely looking at someone.

    SVG Court system is cause for concern and the Human rights people I do not think they understand the fundamentals of innocent until proven guilty. This lady now has an injury and can bring a civil matter against the court and also against the magistrate she stands to benefit significantly from this erroneous decision. The lawyers in SVG need to step up their game if they can and pounce on these matter.

    THE POLICE MUST PROVIDE THEIR DIARY WITH A REPORT IN IT FROM THE INJURED PARTY.

  2. With Victor Cuffy and Nicole Sylvester no longer with us who are the principals of the human rights association now?

  3. Why she has to pay the price for the affair they allegedly had? of course, he wouldn’t admit to adultery. what’s wrong with you people? because she reportedly speak the truth and he and his father hold power she has to pay? where were his brother or judge when the alleged relationship was going on? […]

  4. Brown Boy USA says:

    Are you for really SVGHRA??? You should be ashamed for taking this position. We agree that the court has the power to send someone for mental evaluation in cases where the individual demonstration actions deemed to be abnormal behavior. However, how could you determine calling someone a ‘dirty b**ch’ be considered the need for the court to subject that individual under psychiatric evaluation? How in this God created world could that be right? What other factors did the magistrate in this case used to determine that the mental capacity of this young girl needs evaluation? You haven’t even think about whether this young lady’s rights was properly protected but have audacity to ask the public to refrain from making comments on the issue? What if this was one of your daughter would it have make a difference? How much of people’s rights do we have witness get eroded before you can stand up for your people in the name of justice and human rights? Where is the human rights here, and who are you as the human rights associate supposed to protect? Certainly not the citizens of this country when you take this approach.

  5. What is MOST APPALLING is that “ the prosecution offered no evidence in support of their application’. “Magistrate Bertie Pompey granted the prosecution’s application notwithstanding the strenuous objections by defence counsel Grant Connell.”
    I appreciate Mr. PM’s effort in commenting on the circumstances however, due to his closeness to the individuals involve, it is difficult not to relate his legal consultation as conflict of interest. I wander what would have been the action taken had the young lady (former model Yugge Farrell) been related to our SVG PM? In fact, if the young aspiring model had retained a lawyer as her defence, any incapability on her part would rest upon the capability of her lawyer. In addition, why was she asked to make a plea on a matter which was already arbitrated to have emerged only by someone in a state of mental incapability?

  6. Had she said this to me or any other poor and indigent person, will they have sent her for mental assessment? My people , remember these words and where they have been spoken, Poor and indigent. It appears we have no right to live on these people estate. So sad.

  7. Now they are claiming blackmail and this was not what the girl was charged with, so evidence was withheld from the police and the magistrate. Or was it only withheld from the defence?

    Stinks

    Certainly in my opinion makes both the PM and his son unfit for office and they should resign or be removed.

    How about the dynasty’s pet, the DPP he has been very quiet on the matter. That stinks as well.

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