The women, Bernadette Myall, left, and Tannisha Jennings, leave the Serious Offenses Court for the Central Police Station on Monday. (iWN photo)

Two women were, on Monday, detained at the Central Police Station for contempt of court.

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne ordered that the women, Bernadette Myall, of Georgetown, and Tannisha Jennings, of Lowmans Leeward, be detained after they disrupted her court.

When the women entered the Serious Offences Court together shortly before 1 p.m., the chief magistrate asked one of the police orderlies if it was them who had been so loud in the corridor moments before.

An officer had repeatedly called for silence in the corridor, which doubles as a waiting area.

However, the chief magistrate was told that it was another woman who had been loud outside the courtroom.

But no sooner had Myall taken her seat than she started to speak audibly to one of the prisoners seated in the courtroom.

Speaking to prisoners in the courtroom without the expressed permission of the police is prohibited.

On seeing the exchange between Myall and the prisoner, a police officer rebuked her and the chief magistrate ordered both women to leave the courtroom.

But, as she was told to leave, Jennings kissed her teeth (“steups”) loudly, resulting in the chief magistrate ordering that the women be detained.

The women were placed to sit on the prisoners’ benches.

However, Jennings continued with her disruptive behaviour even as court officials told her about the inappropriateness of her actions.

When the chief magistrate rose for the day shortly after 1 p.m., she left the two women sitting on the bench with the other prisoners but gave no instruction about what was to be done with them.

iWitness News was later informed that the chief magistrate ordered that the women be detained until 5 p.m.

The women, along with other prisoners, left the courtroom precinct shortly after in an unmarked police vehicle. 

iWitness News understands that under the contempt of court law, the court could have ordered that the women be detained for two days.

The women were said to be relatives of Augustine Jennings, of Lowmans Leeward who was, one week earlier, jailed for possession of an offensive weapon, to wit, a knife.

Jennings was back in court for bail review on a charge that on Sept. 13, at Lowmans Hill, he caused grievous bodily harm to Garfield Nero of Campden Park, intending so to do.

The chief magistrate deferred bail review until a later date in light of Jennings’ prison sentence which he is currently serving.  

6 replies on “Women detained for contempt of court”

  1. Question. Caption said they were DETAINED but were they actually charged with something? From what I know it’s against the law for the media to publish people’s identity unless they were charged. So are you sure you’re not breaking the law here?

  2. Rawlston Pompey says:

    CONTEMPT OF COURT?

    This is a Common Law offence.

    Not for Magistrates, but for trial on indictment by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Triable only by Judge and Jury.

    Magistrates, however, do have an exercisable power under the ‘…Magistrates’ Code of Procedure Act’ to address ‘…rude, insulting and disruptive behavior,’ either in the presence of Magistrates or in the precinct of the Court.

    Such behavior not only affects sitting Magistrates, but also all officers of the Court- Clerks to Magistrates; …Court Orderlies; …Attorneys; and other Police officers.

    Any kind of disruption could bring a ‘…short term of residency’ either at prison or a police holding cell.

    Thus, any kind of rudeness shall be displayed in the privacy of homes, and not to the annoyance or disturbance of the neighborhood.

    These two women were lucky not to have been remanded at prison by the Chief Magistrate. Not sure what may happen to them if so ordered to return.

  3. I don’t agree with the magistrate.the women were not rude.they was just expressing them selves.that was very heveyhanded by the magistrate.l have seen worse than that.and she left with out geving instructions in there regards.

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