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Defence Counsel, Grant in a Dec. 21, 2023 photo.
Defence Counsel, Grant in a Dec. 21, 2023 photo.
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A defence lawyer has called to the attention of the court what he suggested was irresponsible commentary by a radio station on the child abuse case that resulted in his client being charged.

Grant Connell raised the issue at Kingstown Magistrate’s Court today (Monday) after Candice John, of Vermont, pleaded guilty to a charge that on Jan. 20, at Vermont, having charge or care of a juvenile she did wilfully ill-treat her in a manner likely to cause her unlikely suffering.

“The matter is now sub judice,” Connell said, adding, “There are certain elements, in particular radio stations, that can bring certain attention and certain behaviour patterns that could lead to particular attention to this young lady. I am asking this honourable court to make the unwise wise,” Connell said.

Candice John
The defendant, Candice John arrives at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024.

“Responsible journalists–” Senior Magistrate Colin John, who was presiding, began to say.

Connell, however, continued:

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“A particular radio station seemingly has more influence on the police force. It was drawn to my attention and I was disturbed specifically how this matter was dealt with.

“Those who misunderstand the power of the mind can destroy a human being. We already do not have the infrastructure in this case but we will try our best.”

The senior magistrate said he did not know the specifics of what Connell was speaking about but said responsible journalists will know how much they report on a matter and what they divulge.

The defendant was charged after videos emerged last Thursday of a child, said to be a 2-year-old girl, with fabric tied around her neck in a manner that appeared to have had a suffocating effect.

The senior magistrate has ordered the preparation of a social inquiry report ahead of the next hearing in the matter, on March 4.

He also ordered that station bail continue in the matter.

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