Former model Yugge Farrell arrives at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning. Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett has dismissed the charge against her. (iWN photo)

Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett has dismissed for want of prosecution the insulting language charge against 23-year-old former model, Yugge Farrell.

The magistrate’s decision at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday came in response to an application by Farrell’s lawyer Grant Connell, and counsel Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, who had a watching brief in the case.

Farrell spent one month in court-ordered psychiatric evaluation after she was charged on Jan. 4, 2018, that on that date she used insulting language to Karen Duncan-Gonsalves — wife of Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves — by calling her “a dirty b**ch”.

When the matter was called, prosecutor Corlene Samuel told the court that the prosecution was withdrawing the charge against Farrell.

However, Connell noted that the prosecution was making a decision three weeks short of one year since Farrell was charged.

He further noted that there had been no disclosure in the matter and said that by withdrawing the case, the prosecution was leaving the door wide open to prosecuting his client again.

Bacchus-Baptiste told the court that she was agreeing with Connell.

She told the court that she had received a letter from the Director of Public Prosecution last Wednesday in which the DPP has used the word dismissed.

iWitness News understands that no such communication was sent to Connell, who has been representing Farrell from the date of her Jan. 5, 2018 arraignment when she asked him, in court, to represent her, which he has done pro bono.

Barbadian Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, who on Jan. 29, took over from Connell as lead counsel in the matter, did not appear in court on Monday.

After leaving the court, Farrell, who wore a flowing black outfit, black sandals, black gloves, and what appeared to be a wig, made the same hand gesture she had made on her Jan. 4. 2018 arraignment.

After Farrell pleaded not guilty to the charge on Jan. 5, Samuel immediately asked the court to send her for psychiatric evaluation.

Magistrate Bertie Pompey had granted the application amidst strong protest by Connell, who noted that the prosecution had offered no information in support of their application.

On Jan. 29, Burnett, who, in an unrelated development, took over and became the Kingstown Magistrate, granted Farrell bail after receiving the report from the psychiatric hospital.

He ordered her to return to court today.

The case has triggered national and regional outrage against the legal system and political establishment in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, especially after Farrell’s claim that she was in a years’ long sexual relationship with the finance minister.

The finance minister has not responded to Farrell’s claim, apparently choosing to follow the advice of his father, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, to maintain “a dignified silence”.

The prime minister, a lawyer, however, had commented extensively on the case, saying, among other things, that in arriving at a decision, a magistrate can consider information not disclosed in open court.

Farrell is alleged to have used the insulting words toward the prime minister’s daughter-in-law when Farrell allegedly handed to Duncan-Gonsalves what the prime minister called a “blackmail” letter at Duncan-Gonsalves’ then office at the Attorney General’s Chambers.

The prime minister said that amidst Farrell’s alleged demands was EC$50,000 and that the charges against her parents, Gailene Farrell and Calvert Charles, be withdrawn.

Gailene and Charles were before the court on unrelated attempted murder and arson charges and were discharged in July after the prosecution told the Serious Offences Court that police had misplaced a crucial piece of evidence.

One week later, however, the couple was committed to stand trial on the same charges, that on Nov. 1, 2017, at Lowmans Bay, they attempted to murder Edward Durrant, a fellow villager.

Gailene has told iWitness News that she had heard about the alleged relationship between the finance minister and her son and had told the prime minister, last year, what she had heard.

The prime minister, however, has denied having such a conversation with the model’s mother, saying that when she came to see him last year, they spoke about a job for Yugge.

7 replies on “Magistrate dismisses charge against Yugge”

  1. dignified silence like it backfired on this one boy…one simple case cause ah whole country to lose confident in a potential prime minister…and question political influence in the Justice Systems, therefore kicking the discussion of a possible CCJ switch in the doldrums. this is classic example of the potential shit storms that result when PR practitioners sleep on the Job.

    1. Great comment! Glad to see many people do not let themselves be fooled so easily. It is always fascinating what politicians do when they have sex charges and other scandles leveled against them. I was amazed when Mel Gibson, (A prominent person but not a politician) was accused of sexist comments when he was taken into custody for drunkenness. He is a real man and owned-up. We get to see how a real man like Mel Gibson compares to these cowardly politicians like Bill Clinton or the Dynasty in SVG.
      I have 100 times more respect for Mel Gibson than I do these politicians with thier “dignified silence”, and then trying to compare the silence to Jesus…Disgusting! Great way to lose the respect of the people! They think all of us are totally stupid.

  2. The treatment of Ms Farrell was a total abuse of power and the Police and courts simply kowtowing to the wimps and fancies of the Prime Minister and his family.

    All unfair games will be played again…

    Best wishes to Ms Farrell in all future endeavors.

  3. I realize why Ben David is always saying disrespectful things about SVG. Not that I’m saying that it is proper but I have been scratching my head when following the news from SVG for the past months. Half of the things people believe are myths and brer anancy stories. However, the news articles and comments give a quite accurate picture of the level of development of Vincentian society both intellectually and socially. I feel bad for our people. I can only hope that things will change for the better.

  4. I would not have read or even was I aware of the #YuggeFarrell #Court #Case and #Gonsalves. until by chance I saw Emanuel Quashie’s ‘qualitative methodology’ a “Content Analysis” which ‘analysed iWitness News articles between December 15 and 17, 2018’. It drew my attention to a matter that was well publicized a year ago and so I read the journalist (Kenton X. Chance’s) editorial.

    It is amazing how persons can read the very same article but with such different perception. Now professionally, one has to remember that this is a case in its segment two (2) sequel therefore; the journalist’s job in publishing; is to recap the episode while focusing on the latest court proceedings. That is exactly the section of this editorial, no more or less. The goal of any capable journalist is to ensure that even someone who was not aware of the topic can capture the foundation of the story and that is what Journalist Mr.Kenton X. Chance has done.

  5. I would not have read or even was I aware of the #YuggeFarrell #Court #Case and #Gonsalves. until by chance I saw Emanuel Quashie’s ‘qualitative methodology’ a “Content Analysis” which ‘analysed iWitness News articles between December 15 and 17, 2018’. It drew my attention to a matter that was well publicized a year ago and so I read the journalist (Kenton X. Chance’s) editorial.

    It is amazing how persons can read the very same article but with such different perception. Now professionally, one has to remember that this is a case in its segment two (2) sequel therefore; the journalist’s job in publishing; is to recap the episode while focusing on the latest court proceedings. That is exactly the section of this editorial, no more or less. The goal of any capable journalist is to ensure that even someone who was not aware of the topic can capture the foundation of the story and that (in my opinion) is what Journalist Mr.Kenton X. Chance has done.

Comments are closed.