Man charged for circulating “malicious” message on social media

Police have formally charged Omar Shawn Watson, 39, of Maxwell, Christ Church, for the offence of malicious communication.

He is expected to appear at the District “A” Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Police say that earlier this month, a message appeared on social media which was menacing in character and caused Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley annoyance, distress and anxiety. Investigations led to Watson’s arrest.

In a statement announcing the charge, Acting Assistant Superintendent David Welch said the Royal Barbados Police Force had noticed the use of social media “to present malicious communications which at times can be very damaging to persons’ reputations”.

“We are warning persons to desist from this type of behaviour which constitutes a criminal offence and once reported there will be an investigation,” he said. (PR)

57 Responses to Man charged for circulating “malicious” message on social media

  1. Michael A Clarke
    Michael A Clarke November 26, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Interesting ! Wonder what investigation was carried out.

    Reply
  2. Michael A Clarke
    Michael A Clarke November 26, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Interesting ! Wonder what investigation was carried out.

    Reply
  3. Peter S. A. Francis
    Peter S. A. Francis November 26, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    So much for politicians having broad backs. I wonder now if they will go after any calypsonians with the testicular fortitude to sing about them

    Reply
  4. Neisha Rock
    Neisha Rock November 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Stupse! Why the nation ain’t get charged too? Them had it both online and in pudding and souse! Some people are too thin skin!

    Reply
    • Samuel Morrison November 26, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Neisha Rock are you aware of what was said that caused the stress or anxiety or are you just ,outgoing off. What is thin skinned. Does someone have to die to stop persons using Facebook and other social media for stupidity.

      Reply
  5. Jack Williams
    Jack Williams November 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Would be interesting to know what was said to cause the minister this distress, annoyance and anxiety.

    Reply
  6. Derek Bain
    Derek Bain November 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    So much for freedom of speech

    Reply
  7. Margaret Lorde
    Margaret Lorde November 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I’ve heard he is planning to sue the nation too…but wait am I allowed to say that I heard that now…I hope I don’t get a letter too.

    Reply
  8. Lucia Aniela Parris
    Lucia Aniela Parris November 26, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Would these sentiments be the same were it you, your child or another family member ?

    Reply
    • Michelle Chase
      Michelle Chase November 26, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      I know of more than one person who contacted the police when it was a family member and they were told that nothing could be done

      Reply
    • Lucia Aniela Parris
      Lucia Aniela Parris November 26, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Well I can’t speak of your experience but I can speak of mine— once you have evidence ie screen grabs and what not — you can get assistance from the law— and I’m not the only one .

      Reply
  9. Chrissy Tina
    Chrissy Tina November 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    There’s freedom of speech then there is malicious slander of a defamatory nature founded in lies. If the events in question at least had any truth in it then there would be no charge once investigations are carried out. Interestingly we only see validity in situations of this nature when we ourselves are affected, as long as it is others we then talk about “testicular fortitude” “broad backs” and the like.

    Reply
  10. Nikita Davidson
    Nikita Davidson November 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Stupsesss really . This is a bare childish act on the ministers part . Alll them need to step DOWN. Shame on you

    Reply
  11. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner November 26, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Ok understand why he was arrested and charge but if it was a regular person from lower end of society would this be the end result just curious to find out.

    Reply
  12. Gail BajanQueen Mc
    Gail BajanQueen Mc November 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    So only caws it was towards a minister, he get charged? Ur FB acct aint ur own business? Who hang out clothes does expect rain… come charge me too doo. Stupse

    Reply
  13. Natasha Grant
    Natasha Grant November 26, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Now here’s a question…what if it were true but because it get out and all over FB people shame, they got a scapegoat?

    Reply
  14. Ike Turner
    Ike Turner November 26, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    But did it happen

    Reply
  15. NAKED DEPARTURE - The Trilogy Series
    NAKED DEPARTURE - The Trilogy Series November 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    WHAT ABOUT CLICO?

    Reply
  16. Lynda Bonnett
    Lynda Bonnett November 26, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    so what happen to peoples rights in a consitution and democratic country, that people are muzzled now????oh really??

    Reply
  17. Debra Dior
    Debra Dior November 26, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    But sooo many persons talk about The Obama’s and The Clinton’s on social media and I don’t see them go after them to have them prosecuted….what is the real reason because I would like to know howcome they never went after the calypsonians too ?!!!?! Seriously…

    Reply
  18. Mhizz Joan Moore
    Mhizz Joan Moore November 26, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    wtffffff so we aint have no more freedom of speech, i suppose the goin for the person who send out the voice notes next smfh

    Reply
  19. Tracy Barker
    Tracy Barker November 26, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I’m lost what exactly was alleged to have been said if it can be repeated in this forum?

    Reply
  20. Latanya Linton
    Latanya Linton November 26, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Sisi Kitty Greenidge Golden Nugget you think it would work if I complain for a certain individual? Cause he surely is causing me distress and anxiety. …

    Reply
  21. Ol
    Ol'dog Likeme November 26, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Sorry to rub salt in your wounds people but this is the change you all voted for.

    Reply
    • Maria Hatch
      Maria Hatch November 26, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Could not have said it better!!!!!

      Reply
  22. Damien Plante
    Damien Plante November 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    freedom of speech .it’s democracy man come on

    Reply
  23. Sisi Kitty Greenidge
    Sisi Kitty Greenidge November 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Hmm

    Reply
  24. Troy Devonish
    Troy Devonish November 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Hahahah funniest thing I have ever heard. Seriously you can’t make this stuff up. Well, Mr. Lashley the Bajan populace is on the receiving end of communications which lead to ‘annoyance, distress and anxiety’ and they are called DLP budgets so join the club and grin and bear it.

    Reply
  25. Randy Hartman
    Randy Hartman November 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    just to instill fear in people concerning what they post on social media.. all part of having a good dictatorship

    Reply
  26. Dawn Franklin
    Dawn Franklin November 26, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I keep telling wanna Barbados becoming a little Cuba and wanna doubt me, All hail the Dem’s who next……

    Reply
  27. Wayne Cadogan November 26, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    What happened to freedom of speech? I thought that Barbados was a democratic country, apparently it is not, because the government is trying to muzzle anyone that speaks out on any issues that affect the society. How is it that politicians can say what they feel like and it is gospel. No wonder the country is currently like quicksand and there seems to be no way out of it.

    Reply
  28. Pablo Quosa
    Pablo Quosa November 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse: XTRACT FROM THE COMPUTER MISUSE ACT
    Where a person uses a computer to send a message, letter,
    electronic communication or article of any description that
    (a) is indecent or obscene;
    (b) is or constitutes a threat; or
    (c) is menacing in character,
    and he intends to cause or is reckless as to whether he causes
    annoyance, inconvenience, distress or anxiety to the recipient
    or to any other person to whom he intends it or its contents to be
    communicated, he is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary
    conviction to a fine of $10 000 or to imprisonment for a term of
    12 months or to both.

    Reply
    • Derek Bain
      Derek Bain November 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      This entire post is an inconvenience to me because I keep getting notifications. Shall I sue The Nation?

      This law absolute nonsense!

      Reply
    • Pablo Quosa
      Pablo Quosa November 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Until you become a victim of malicious acts!. I’m sure if some one put a scandalous statement about you on blast you would think twice about what you said. Statements like yours make me wonder about your capacity to think!

      Reply
    • Terence M Blackett November 27, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Would that include calling JORGE BERGOGLIO (Francis 1) ANTICHRIST* or #TonyBlair & #DUBYA war criminals; or #BennyHinn a DEMON??? The list is endless!!!

      Who is willing to “ARGUE” or “CONTEST” the law & to set precedent?

      SMDHID!!!

      Reply
  29. Ryan Black
    Ryan Black November 26, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    So Barbados turn China now? What kinda communism type nonsense is this?

    Reply
  30. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley November 26, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    This is DEM way of trying to shut down what is happening in Barbados-they can do and say what they like about people but as soon as the shoe fit the other foot its a problem-Barbados gone!

    Reply
  31. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley November 26, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    This is madness – but its the change Barbados wanted-be careful what ya wish for-we were doing quite well under the last govt in every way, but u all wanted new broom that sweeping wunna under the ocean and that is in every area-bad economy, bad management, lock up, fines, high unemployment and the list goes on-just pray that something miraculous happens that will get us back to the polls ASAP, if that don’t happen you all dead! Looks what My Barbados come to.

    Reply
  32. Beverley Headley
    Beverley Headley November 26, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Wonder who is worse when bajans used to say that the last and best PM Barbados had were muzzling bajans-we never had any proof of that, but here we are today-may God have mercy and save our country from these pharaohs.

    Reply
  33. Biggert November 26, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    What about the “annoyance, distress and anxiety” that this Government is causing Bajans every day. Can they be charged for that?

    Reply
  34. Stephen D Stewart
    Stephen D Stewart November 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Politicians are game for ridicule …if you can’t stand the heat …stay out of the kitchen….imagine if Obama sued everybody who slated his name….half of America would be in the dock……same as Cameron in the UK or Merkel in Germany…as for the French president….France would need to build hundreds of prisons…..

    Reply
  35. Stephen D Stewart
    Stephen D Stewart November 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Politicians are game for ridicule …if you can’t stand the heat …stay out of the kitchen….imagine if Obama sued everybody who slated his name….half of America would be in the dock……same as Cameron in the UK or Merkel in Germany…as for the French president….France would need to build hundreds of prisons…..

    Reply
  36. Stephen D Stewart
    Stephen D Stewart November 26, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    The sooner this crap government goes the better…..they are a disgrace…..bunch of clowns….waste of space and they deserve any abuse thrown at them….they have made the citizens of Barbados suffer big time…they don’t deserve any respect or praise….call elections now….

    Reply
  37. Stephen D Stewart
    Stephen D Stewart November 26, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    The sooner this crap government goes the better…..they are a disgrace…..bunch of clowns….waste of space and they deserve any abuse thrown at them….they have made the citizens of Barbados suffer big time…they don’t deserve any respect or praise….call elections now….

    Reply
  38. Highly Flavoured Kelalicia
    Highly Flavoured Kelalicia November 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    What happen to freedom of speech?

    Reply
  39. starlet boss November 26, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Its amazing how so many people think only lawyers can read the laws of Barbados smh , if more people read them they would be shocked to learn what they can and can’t do !

    Reply
  40. Rianne November 26, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Why does this government believe they have the right to control people’s opinion. You are entitled to freedom of speech is that not so. Honestly this government is the worst I’ve ever seen. They should be more concerned with getting our country out of debt. Disgusting

    Reply
  41. Tramaine November 27, 2014 at 7:21 am

    There is a difference between freedom of speech and ignorance. Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech however when you do it the way it was done it is no longer freedom of speech it is called “defamation of character” and it is indeed a criminal offence. Look it up. It is not only here this law is worldwide.

    Reply
  42. just saying November 27, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I haven’t seen the comments The guy made. I think it is unfortunate that a politician is pressing these type of charges. Ridicule insult and lies go with the job. But it is his right.

    I think the Computer misuse Act is useful, many Bajans would disagree cause we love to hear negative things about others in the mistaken believe that it somehow betters our own circumstances. Defamation and slander have always been a crime. We can’t cloak it in “freedom of speech”. I only hope the young lady who was the subject of certain voice notes going around on social media would press charges too.

    Reply
  43. Adolf Hippolyte November 27, 2014 at 9:34 am

    dis fellow lashley serious !!!he talk so much solid waste bout d BLP candidates on political platforms thu out dis country which was also stream live on the internet it a shame.

    dis fellow skin teet-serious!!..i have heard him onpoliticalplatformsduring the last election which is stream live via the internetbellowing out a lot of solid waste, which made reference to
    candidates of the BLP, as it relates to their sexual reference regarding same sex relationships.
    While on the platform at Bay st he said.. ” right now they are 3 individuals in st philip singing at a karaoke…he call their first manes and sobrique (nick-names).
    he said the song their were singing was …once ,twice,three times a lady..
    none of those gentlemen took him to court although the police could have, because as the RBPF reported in the Daily Nation of
    27/11/2014,statements like the aforementioned, presents malicious communications, which at times can be very damaging to person’s reputations.
    skin teet all i can say is…well…well…well.

    Reply
  44. Terence M Blackett November 27, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    The #Law is a #jackass according to my law professors & all who willingly entertain such gross incongruities & contradictions are just as asinine!!!

    Reply
  45. Concern November 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I realise some of the Caribbean Island politician are adopting the Middle East policy, our freedom are taken away little by little including freedom of speech. The problem is all over the Caribbean. I gave them “ten out of ten” by Bill Yates. After getting in power they all change.

    Reply
  46. Andrew Simpson June 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    I like what Tramaine said.
    We must all exercise individual responsibility, and be prepared to suffer consequences for actions which are dishonest or unkind, citizens and government officials alike.

    Reply

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