Woman scolded for behaviour in courtyard
“You talk too much and you don’t listen!”
Acting Magistrate Elwood Watts told this to a woman who pleaded guilty to causing a disturbance on Roebuck Street yesterday.
When the charge was read to her, Natasha Felicia Prentice answered: “Sir, I guilty for getting on bad; I ain’t gine lie to you.”
However, the Citrus Lane, Lower Burney, St Michael resident disagreed with the facts which Sergeant Theodore McClean presented.
He told the District ‘A’ Traffic Court that sometime after midday on July 22, Prentice was at Harford House where the Juvenile and Coroner’s courts are located. She was among a group at the time.
Sometime after noon, Constable Hoyte spoke to her about her behaviour on the court compound. The accused began cursing Hoyte and another constable, PC Clarke, whom she told to “Carr’ wunna ***** and don’t ****ing touch me”.
She was told to leave the premises and walked on to the main road at Roebuck Street, where she continued being boisterous. She was then arrested.
When given the chance to speak, the 33-year-old pointed out that she disagreed with “the part ‘bout the cursing. I did not curse. I ain’t had no outburst in the courtyard either. When they tell me to leave, I leave”.
In explaining the events to the court, she said after she crossed the road, the policeman told her, ‘I lucky I is a woman or he would cuff me in my face.
‘You see men beating you mother and you sister? Carr’ yuh tail from out my face,’ she recalled saying to him.
Prentice also said she did not know the female was a constable at the time she approached her. She said from the time she got there, the woman was “looking at me bad” and, as she was speaking to her, was pushing a piece of paper in her face.
“I was offended by it,” Prentice remarked.
The accused woman explained that she and others were in the foyer at the court, when she gave a joke “and everybody laugh”.
“It was a good joke for truth and we laugh real hard.”
She went on to say that it was at that point that a woman came out and told the group, ‘I don’t want all of this in here. Wunna got to leave’.
She replied “Sweet girl. All of we is poor people together and we should live good. You mean we got to leave because we laugh? So you mean yuh can’t laugh now?”
She recalled that the group then crossed the road “and I get on bad”.
When Watts questioned her about the fact that she had still disturbed the court even from where she was, the woman replied: “Court did done, Sir.”
The acting magistrate informed her that once the court was in session, as the facts suggested, “and your noise interrupted it, the court had the authority to send for you and you would have been in contempt of court”.
He went on: “I am giving you some advice because you may have to go back to that same court and if you do it again, it may not be for the same minor charge you are on now.”
The woman replied: “I talk hard and I say some things, Sir.”
To this, Watts said: “I am talking . . . and you’re not listening. You need to listen. You have children?”
Prentice continued: “All my friends does tell me so. Yes, Sir. I have three children and one of them birthday is today. I gine listen now.”
Watts said he would not want to jail a first-time offender and fined her the $10 penalty forthwith.
“But I ain’t come here with no money, Sir,” Prentice told the Magistrate.
“It is $10, ma’am, not $1 000, and if you don’t pay it before the court rises, you will get the alternative of 30 days!”
“You would do that to me, Sir?” Prentice asked.
The money was paid by a relative who was in the courtyard.