Lawyer’s plea


Noel Scantlebury’s mother threw in the towel today, refusing to post bail for her 17-year-old son.

But veteran defence lawyer Arthur Holder made an impassioned plea on behalf of the teenager – who was not even his client – when the young man appeared destined to spend some time at HMP Dodds.

“Dodds ain’t no place for he . . . . You can’t give up on your child like that,” he petitioned the court and the boy’s mother.

Scantlebury, who is listed as having no fixed place of abode, denied having cannabis on June 16 or entering the home of Wendie Garraway as a trespasser on May 4 and stealing US$1,400 belonging to the homeowner.

The prosecutor had no objections to bail, but said the fact that the teen had no fixed place to live posed a problem.

Scantlebury’s mother, who was in the court, was called to the witness box and she made it abundantly clear that she had had enough. She said her son had been living with his grandmother but she did not know where he staying at the moment.

“He has no respect for authority. Noel does not want to get up and look for a job or anything. He does not want to listen to anybody,” the visibly frustrated mother explained.

Asked whether she wanted to sign bail on her son’s behalf, she emphatically replied: “No, I do not.”

It was at that point that Holder, who was in court for other cases involving his clients, stepped in.

After making some inquiries, he got a telephone number for Scantlebury’s grandmother and placed a call outside the court.

However, after a few minutes, he returned without any better news for the accused.

“They are at their wits’ end . . . and not prepared to sign bail for him,” he informed Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant.

However, Holder, himself a father, made it clear that while he was not condemning anyone, parents needed to understand the plight of “a youth at risk”.

He said adolescence was a very “traumatic time” and some parents did not understand, especially when it came to male children.

Holder contended that young men go through a stage where they want to find their own identity, hence the reason for the block culture developing in Barbados.

“Young men will gravitate towards the block because they can identify with those persons on the block . . . and parents need to understand that and develop coping skills
. . . even though he might be going down the wrong road,” the lawyer said.

“Dodds ain’t no place for he at 17, Ma’am; no, because he is going to mix up . . . in prison and they are going to teach him. If he is devious now when he comes out he is going to be deviant . . . . You cannot give up on your son like that.”

Adding that “parenting was a skill” and went beyond just the biological connection, Holder continued: “It calls for relationship building . . . . If you don’t have it early you can’t develop it late.”

He warned that Scantlebury would be “recruited in a hurry” because he had nowhere to go and “feels like his mother does not want him”.

“Yes, she would have tried before, but you can’t give up on your children like that. Then he will become a hardened criminal.”

Following that passionate address, Scantlebury revealed that while he did not “smoke dope” he did use cigarettes and marijuana.

The magistrate then decided to remand the teen to the Psychiatric Hospital for drug and anger management assessment and any other assessment doctors deemed necessary to get him the necessary help.

He will spend three weeks there and return to court on July 14.

20 Responses to Lawyer’s plea

  1. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince June 22, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Tough love ..

  2. E Jerome Davis
    E Jerome Davis June 22, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Good job Arthur.

  3. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen June 22, 2017 at 6:32 am

    Wow! Mr holder I thought that advice was very educational for parents with teenage children,I truly believe it’s the way we treat and speak ,when these teens are changing life,we need to with hold and encourage them and not force ,it’s a delicate stage in their life.

    • Marline Goodridge
      Marline Goodridge June 22, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Unapologetic FAY if you going to get backlash for your mouth what will I get for mine I am much harder than you are I am a real mean ugly minded momma when I am ready so mine don’t play me because when I say no it is no

  4. Charming Forde
    Charming Forde June 22, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Bravo to you for this attitude. I got the same attitude where my son is concerned, raising a boy child is not easy but I got to die trying.

  5. Christopher David Alleyne
    Christopher David Alleyne June 22, 2017 at 6:51 am

    I feel extremely proud to call you class mate. That was one powerful set of advice for all who are listening.

  6. Dennis Taitt
    Dennis Taitt June 22, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Great Arthur Holder. But he must hear to his parents. Are you going to give the mother(relatives the money to pay if he fails to turn up in court?)I would think that his parents tried desperately with him. Most youths are hooked up on smoking and deviant behaviour and only seems to adhear when they are placed in what is suppose to be stable enviourments.I have heard this all before and who (the relatives or who sign)pays the bail money when these people fail to turn up in court? Guess this mother has been through enough. He has to go and rebrand himself and come again. Mr Arthur your plea have not moved his mother. In three weeks we shall see how it turns out. Sorry but it is called tough love.

  7. Ashanda Coward
    Ashanda Coward June 22, 2017 at 7:14 am


  8. Clyde Edey
    Clyde Edey June 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Great Mother and Grandmother . That would teach him a lesson especially going to The Mental Institution.

  9. Pat Codrington
    Pat Codrington June 22, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Tough love here,this mother has to be at her wits end with her son.

  10. BaJan boy June 22, 2017 at 7:25 am

    God will continue to bless you Mr. Holder and we surely need more genuinely caring leader in our community to helping our young people. This government has done so much damage to the psyche of our people that the prison cannot accommodate any more and our youth are destroyed in the process. Barbados we need to get rid of this disgraceful bunch and the Attorney General who has not turned up for work yet and not a clue can do absolutely nothing to help.

  11. Bobolee Popo June 22, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Holder don’t be uh rabbit..
    …life is so traumatic that the youte can’t look fun wuk …
    …this vagabond can’t identify with is mother but can identify wid the boys on the block!??!
    ..he is 17 yrs old now,by the time the election is call he would be 18 yrs old…I can easily posit that he is from Holder’s constituency.

  12. tsquires June 22, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Good morning to all regarding this sad stage and state, of our ability to cope with some of our children’s bad behavior, sadly it goes deeper than most of us know or are willing to accept. I’ve worked with delinquent youth outside of Barbados in the 1970’s and 80’s, and truthfully it has to do with our broken systems that were set up deliberately to disadvantage people of colour. I am very aware of the self hatred many of us go through, due to our learning but mis-education and disconnection from truth, it is not possible to address the problem/s in this forum; except to ask all of our people to take a critical analysis of ourselves, to see how we have been pre-programmed to fail, through every system we have accepted from our colonial masters, it is not a racist rant but an unadulterated TRUTH which most of us reject, because of it’s psychological impact starting with all man made religions.

  13. jrsmith June 22, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I feel sorry for his mother, this lady wouldn’t just say her son have no respect for authority no ,I think she is hurting and she has had enough …
    I have a friend in the (UK) he has a son 17.5 years old , he was fortunate to have had a short apprenticeship did quite well seems to be a very good plumber, he was offered a job with a big up company in Victoria London, earnings £ 500- 800 per week but that work wasn’t clean enough for him , comparing what some of his ex school friends who were criminal doing, going to certain counties up north stealing top of range cars, he got involve with them , he assaulted his father grab his mother by the throat , 2 weeks past and his father got an early morning call from the police in Birmingham, they should come to see him because he is dying, a deal went bad he got 5 shots in his midriff , he lasted 4 days and did… months now no one has been arrested for his killing….but who knows his mother refusing to bail him may just save his life………………………………………..
    Kids do what they like come what may, sad , sad very sad……..

  14. Carson C Cadogan June 22, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Well done Holder.

  15. Sonia Small
    Sonia Small June 22, 2017 at 10:15 am


  16. Sonia Small
    Sonia Small June 22, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Die trying yes but we as parents still feel failure If that child isn’t grateful but I tip my hat to you ladies I have got 3 and thank god for the way they turned out I think tough love is the best love give him some time to cool off ijs

  17. just observing June 22, 2017 at 11:03 am

    If we allow disrespect from an early age this in most cases is what we will get. How many of us can identify with the back-hand lash to the mouth for disrespect and not daring to try it again? In my profession I have met parents with 6 and 7 yr olds saying they can’t handle or bother with them. This is what you will get at 17, then. There are some parents who really try and the kids as followers become deviant but too many parents do not discipline their charges and don’t want the school to do it. I always say in those cases ‘read the papers in the next few years’.Sad but it is true.

  18. 80s Child June 22, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Boy children are task and as Noel said he’s trying to find his identity but it’s also frustrating ESPECIALLY as single parent, when you try your best n it still isn’t good enough…….he chose to follow friends but sometimes you got show them TOUGH LOVE!!!!! You can bring them up in Church etc. BUT when they reach this stage it’s so much you can do..

  19. Ellise June 22, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    You try with some children but they do not want to obey or listen to you. Case in point, i helped my brother raise his son and no matter how i helped him it was never good enough. My sister and i bought him nice stuff, clothed and fed him but he would never give up the bad company he gravitated towards. He even told me one day that his friends did more for him than we ever did and that they have his back. It really hurt me that day but i put him in God’s hands. He has been in and out jail fom that day forward. He would not look for a job nor anything in life. As i would a stranger or paro I give him a meal when i can, a little money when i can afford it and i tried with this young man even to this day. He sees me struggling but would never assist to even trim the hedge unless i pay him even though i may give him breakfast, dinner and supper some days. But i guess that is life and the irony is when he has noone he always has to come back to me to assist him whether it be carrying toiletries to Dodds for him etc. So Mr Holder every parent or guardian does not give up on their charge. Lots of mothers, aunts and relatives pray that they will change but some never will.


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