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Mitchel Anguilla

Connecticut Man Facing Charges In Anguilla Over Death Of Resort Worker

April 23, 2019 – Lisa Rozner, Local TV

https://cbsloc.al/2vhodI9

DARIEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – A Connecticut man is accused of killing a hotel worker on a Caribbean island while on vacation with his family.

Scott Hapgood

A family vacation on the British island of Anguilla ended with an arrest and accusations of manslaughter for 44-year-old Scott Hapgood, of Darien.

Last week the island’s police department arrested the father of three in the death of 27-year-old hotel employee Kenny Mitchel. Mitchel worked at the luxury Malliouhana Resort, where Hapgood was staying.

Kenny Mitchel

A death certificate shows Mitchel, also a father and husband, died of suffocation and blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso.

Hapgood’s lawyer reportedly alleges his client was acting in self-defense.

A judge in Anguilla initially denied bail but then allowed Hapgood to walk free on bail equivalent to about $75,000.

His neighbors didn’t want to go on-camera, but were shocked and say Hapgood is a kind man. They say the family has three children in elementary and middle school.

Hapgood works at UBS Financial Services Company. A representative there would only say they were following the situation closely.

As for Mitchel, his family tells CBS2 he’s a native of Dominica and was a peaceful man from a devout Christian family. Among those he leaves behind are a daughter, who they say was his pride and joy.

Hapgood is due back in court on the island Aug. 22. His lawyer allegedly told a local paper there that he has every intention to clear his name.

Posted in Court, Crime, International, Local, News, Obituaries, Regional, Youth0 Comments

Answering CJ Smellie: “neither tradition nor religion could form the ‘rational basis for a law’”

Answering CJ Smellie: “neither tradition nor religion could form the ‘rational basis for a law’”


Is our God-fearing, Christian “tradition” outdated,  oppressive and irrational?

BRADES, Montserrat, April 6, 2019 –  In trying to establish what has been called “same-sex marriage”[1]  Cayman Islands Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, QC reportedly held[2] that  many inequities have existed in the name of tradition but neither tradition nor religion could form the “rational basis for a law.”  That is but an inch away from implying that the God-fearing, Christian faith that is the Caribbean’s dominant tradition is inevitably oppressive, outdated, ill-founded and/or irrational. Likewise, the historic legacy of Parliamentary Democracy in the Westminster system[3] with separation of the powers of government – the legislative, the executive and the judiciary – may also seem to be just as outdated. 

Such perceptions will not be left unanswered, even though this requires some fairly challenging steps of thought. Justice Smellie and others have forced the matter.

First, we must answer the attitude that one can tell the truth by the clock: what is old (or old-fashioned) is at best suspect. However, truth is not told by the clock, but by what is sound. Where,  well documented experience – history – is a key means to access what is sound.  Yes, slavery, racism, exploitation, oppression and other age-long painful evils and errors are in our past, but so are the conscience-guided reformation principles and movements that created a legacy of liberty and established constitutional democracy in our region. Where too, the Common Law and the linked Westminster system of Parliamentary Democracy under rule of law are historically anchored, time-tested traditions that build in many centuries of hard-bought experience and sound lessons in liberty and self-government. Failure to recognise, appreciate, acknowledge and respect that is not a credible context for sound reform.

Similarly, the foot of the cliff we fell over because we acted unwisely is not the best foundation for building a better future. For example, if we could go back to 1986 – 88, would we treat the Wadge-Isaacs report on volcano hazards in Montserrat in the same way? What should we have done differently between 1995 and 2003? What are we hearing today that we would be well-advised to heed (but may not take seriously)?

Likewise, it is often fashionable nowadays to denigrate the Christian religion and faith in God, the gospel and scripture. All of these are commonly dismissed as irrelevant, outdated, irrational emotional crutches or even as “fairy tales.” More broadly, “faith” and “reason” are often seen as opposites, so only what is “secular” and “modern” is responsible, sound, scientific, progressive and rational.  However, if we probe almost anything we accept as truth or knowledge (say, A), we will see that it has some sort of basis (say, B). But, why accept B? C, then D etc. We thus come to Agrippa’s three unwelcome alternatives:

[i] an endless (= “infinite”) chain of warrant we cannot complete, vs.

[ii] question-begging circularity, vs.

[iii] accepting a finitely remote, but unprovable start point (= a point of faith). 

Of these the first two fail immediately, forcing us to the third approach. The question we face, then, is not whether we have “a point of faith,” but in what/who and why.

Worse, we have seen many scientific revolutions that overturn older schools of thought – often, one funeral at a time. History has to be regularly updated or even revised. After Kurt Godel,[4] we know that the major axiomatic systems of Mathematics are not utterly certain; even while it is obviously self-evident that 2 + 2 = 4 etc.

Do we then throw up our hands and say, we cannot know anything for sure so we know nothing at all? No, even that is a (self-refuting) knowledge claim: we know that we know nothing. Oops.

Instead, we turn to reasonable, responsible faith. That is, we unavoidably have a “faith-point,” first things that we are willing to trust as credibly true but cannot prove – the “first principles” and “first plausibles” through which our proofs, arguments, knowledge and decisions are built. We may then compare alternative faith-points (“worldviews” is the technical name[5]) on [i] reliably covering the facts, [ii] logical coherence and [iii] explanatory power; towards the “best.”

Where also, there are a few plumb-line, self-evident truths we can use to test our thinking. For instance, it is undeniably true that error exists, which is thus certainly known, though humbling (as, we may err). So, worldviews that suggest that we cannot cross the ugly gap between our inner world of thoughts and how things seem to us and the outer one of how things actually are in themselves, fail.  Similarly,  we can be confident: truth says of what is, that it is; and of what is not, that it is not.  

Likewise, St Paul astutely asked: “even . . . [for a] pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?” [1 Cor 14:7, KJV.] That is, without clear distinct identity we can neither think nor communicate. A first, inescapably true law of thought: A is A. Where: if A is confounded with what is not-A, there is only needless confusion and chaos.  (Which, should already ring a few warning-bells.)

Of the live worldview options before us, millions can testify that it is not at all unreasonable or irresponsible to trust the inherently good and utterly wise creator God, the veracity of the gospel of Jesus and the life-transforming insights of scripture.

Turning to the scriptures,[6] we meet there the voice of the Creator God, proclaiming the end from the beginning, establishing a covenant people, accurately prophesying the messiah to come hundreds of years ahead of time. A messiah who would be a despised, rejected wounded healer unjustly put to death but rising in triumph and bringing many souls to salvation. In the gospels, we see just such a Messiah,[7] one who was despised and unjustly crucified but rose from the dead with five hundred witnesses who could not be silenced, and now with millions across the Caribbean and world whose lives have been touched for the good by that risen Christ.

It is this same Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, who taught us:

“Have you never read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined inseparably to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” [Matt 19:4 – 6, AMP.]

Here, we see “tradition,” “religion,” “history” and the obvious complementarity of the two sexes jointly testifying to what marriage is at root, a law of our morally governed nature that is prior to any human government and its decrees. Therefore, as government did not invent marriage, its officers cannot use the magic of words to “modify” or “update” or “add to” it as they please under colour of law. Government is not God.

Until very recently, this was generally recognised and respected by legislatures and judges alike.  So, given the contrast between an ages old law anchored on the naturally evident creation order that founds stable human society and radical judicial novelties, which should we see as “reasonable,” why?

Now, too, is what is old inevitably suspect, likely to be oppressive, discriminatory, violating of “rights”?  To ask is already to answer: no, we also do not tell good/evil by the clock but by what is right. Marriage, as that which recognises and honourably binds men and women through natural and complementary differences vital to nurturing the next generation is clearly not “discriminatory.”   So, that our laws have hitherto recognised the law of our nature that is literally written into our maleness and femaleness is a reflection of reality, not “oppression.”

To suggest otherwise is blatantly morally unsound and chaotic. As, we are now beginning to see. E


[1] See, TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/what-is-marriage/

[2]See https://caymannewsservice.com/2019/03/legalises-gay-marriage/

[3] See http://australianpolitics.com/democracy/key-terms/westminster-system

[4] See https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/goedel-incompleteness/

[5] See https://www.thefreedictionary.com/worldview

[6] See https://www.biblegateway.com/

[7] See http://vimeo.com/17960119

Posted in Columns, Court, De Ole Dawg, Legal, News, Opinions, Regional0 Comments

Gerald elucidates on Redhead

Gerald elucidates on Redhead

Adapted from Radio Montserrat

A local social commentator continued to give a different view following the officially led public celebration of the life of the recently deceased Justice Albert Readhead, who was afforded a ceremonial burial in Antigua and followed up by being further honoured in Montserrat.

Justice Redhead, a long-standing jurist, who has served with the sub-region including Montserrat for over thirty-five years, died in Antigua in March after a period of illness. Claude Gerald, a keen follower of the workings of the law, told ZJBNews that when one becomes a Judge, one has to be prepared, to make social sacrifices.

“You cannot be fraternizing with Tom, Dick and Harry, because you will lose credibility, and you will compromise the judiciary. A judge does not have buddies or partners, except perhaps for his colleagues and maybe his family. Because judgeship is a very hallowed undertaking. So, it’s not about being popular and being in the center of the red of the egg. A judge becomes a hermit and a recluse once he accepts judgeship.

“I want to argue here, that it’s only in that light, that a judge can have the moral courage to do what the law says and make interpretations that are wholesome and to advance the law. That is what is essential.”

Mr. Redhead was given an official funeral by the government of Antigua, which was popularly broadcasted in the region. The government of Monserrat and the local bar joined also. But, Mr. Gerald says that despite all the words spoken at his death, “no one has uttered a word as to just how his Redhead’s actions helped to grow the law.

“How his decisions have made the law stronger. No one spoke of his integrity and his moral courage. It’s all empty talk about how he was a nice man, how he was my friend and how we got along very well,” he said.

“And, let me tell you this,” he concluded, “in our culture, when a man becomes the friend of an official, that official is expected to do the friends bidding. Justice Albert Redhead lived controversially, and died similarly because of his approach of matters before him.”

Justice Redhead was born in Grenada and studied in London, but, after returning to Grenada, moved on and worked in St. Kitts, St. Lucia and Montserrat for over 30 years. He first served in Montserrat in 1985.

Claude Gerald is a social commentator on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com.

Posted in Columns, Court, Features, Legal, Local, News, Obituaries, Opinions, Regional0 Comments

Special High Court sitting in Montserrat

Special High Court sitting in Montserrat


Montserrat Reporter‏ @mratreporter

Yesterday, April 5 2018, at Special sitting of High Court in Montserrat – Justice Morley presides over tributes in memory of Judge Redhead

12:27 PM – 6 Apr 2019

Posted in Court, Government Notices, Local, News, Obituaries, OECS, Regional0 Comments

webDSC_4710

How this overdone ‘laudation’

by Claude Gerald

This is ridiculous. It’s been overdone. It should never ever been conceived. Redhead is a tiny dot on the map in terms of contribution to growth of the law in this region…

We do not value what is valuable! That is our problem. And our institutions in government behave just like him in acknowledging him.  This hopefully is the last mention of his name in a public fora on Montserrat!

Justice Morley presides over special sitting

To honour Redhead is to dishonor what is moral, decent and proper. The man made a mockery of his role as an impartial adjudicator, imposing his personal views as the law itself, rather than be guided by it. He corrupted the process and sided ahead of time despite evidence.

This man has got a history of impropriety on the bench. Is that what we are celebrating? Notice how politicians in neighbouring Antigua worshiped him? Why you have to ask? What about the deceased ‘Justice’ that attracts such glamour and celebration and praise and adulation?

John Stanley Weeks, Warren Cassell and many others where he injected himself to determine their matters. Questions still persist on his handling of the missing ballots in the 1987 election on Montserrat and the Montserrat Printery where he sided with John Osborn and his lot. His pattern stunk.

We are lauding who is NOT laudable. Anything said about REDHEAD that is worthy is a big stretch of the mind. Notice no other judge who has left this world, not even an officer of the court at the level of a practitioner, anywhere in the Caribbean ever attracted such verbal glow. It is a big laugh but it is not funny at all.

To conceive of this sends the wrong signals to the society on a whole. We should all be thankful that he is not in our lives as a Justice. We should be breathing relief instead. This is all so hypocritical. It is nauseating.

Life is fulfilling without Redhead in our midst. And I wish that his adherents, the Redheadites   of this world could tell him (he lives in their soul) that I was never impressed with his demeanour on the bench, his value system and he devalued and discredited the philosophical virtues and standing of the practice of law. In fact he was a disgrace to decency…. he did what certain interest groups wanted despite what was before him….

Nature rids itself of the no good and the good and accepts their physical bodies in a recycling process for our good.  I wonder if Nature in its perfection could not have pressed the selective button and determine the quality of organisms that returns to its compost heaps. Certain remains need to be screened.  But then Nature is not discriminating in its overall judgments of issues before its courts!

Claude Gerald is a social commentator on Montserrat. Ceegee15@hotmail.com.

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Cayman Islands Chief Justice Smellie tries to redefine marriage, fails

Cayman Islands Chief Justice Smellie tries to redefine marriage, fails


A Special: Part 5

Does a judge have a just power to overturn the specific provisions of a Constitution?

BRADES, Montserrat, March 30, 2019 –  On Friday, March 29, 2019, Cayman Islands Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, QC reportedly ruled[1] that “marriage means the union between two people as one another’s spouses.” In doing so, he tried to establish what has been called “same-sex marriage”[2]; but, at the cost of precipitating[3] a needless, Caribbean-wide – arguably, Commonwealth-wide – constitutional crisis. That’s why the Cayman Government has protested:  “we believe that introducing the entirely new concept of same-sex marriage into the existing Marriage Law goes way beyond any reasonable interpretation of modification or adaptation.” It adds: “[t]his, we believe, might be inconsistent with the separation of powers by trespassing on the constitutional remit of this Legislative Assembly,” and it is appealing the judgement.

This is because Justice Smellie claimed to act under colour of “rights” that have been violated, then dismissed historic or traditional views as prone to “inequities,” further holding that “neither tradition nor religion could form the ‘rational basis for a law’.”  He also (tellingly) asserted that “it was settled case law that the court has the power to make legislation which breaches the constitution.”

Yes, Justice Smellie did plainly say or imply that “the court has the power to make legislation” and – even worse – that such new laws (issued by unelected judges!) can breach provisions of a Constitution. Nor does the claim[4] that “[i]t doesn’t say you can’t add the right of other people to enjoy those rights [of marriage]” change the pivotal fact that one is – by the obvious implications of “add” – amending a Constitution from the judge’s bench. Such, in the teeth of the known democratic intent of both the Legislature and the people of Cayman.

This is dangerous judicial over-reach and must not stand unchallenged. (Indeed, if it is so that “settled case law” backs the judge, it only implies that the danger is even more urgent, more clear and present.)

For, such an imposition threatens the general legitimacy of constitutional democratic government under the rule of law. Indeed, a claim that courts have Constitution-breaching, law-making power is manifestly a serious, anti-democratic judicial over-reach. One, that is obviously in contempt of Parliament, people and Constitution alike. (Indeed, this case may be grounds for establishing that our judges must now be subject to impeachment for contempt of Parliament, people and Constitution.)

But, but, but . . . shouldn’t the judiciary be independent?

Yes, judges are indeed independent. But, not so independent that they – being unelected and not accountable to voters – can strike down and replace actual specific Constitutional provisions as they wish, rather than soundly interpreting and applying the duly established Constitutional law.  In a Constitutional Democracy, for very good reasons, the Constitution is democratically established as the supreme law of the land and it should only be amended or replaced through a proper democratic process. Therefore, judges simply cannot have a legitimate power to unilaterally amend a constitution.

Now, the Cayman Constitution’s Section 14 has already specifically recognised the historic, Creation order based, naturally evident definition of marriage:  “Government shall respect the right of every unmarried man and woman of marriageable age (as determined by law) freely to marry a person of the opposite sex and found a family.”  Where, no, this historic understanding that marriage is based on the naturally evident, creation order based complementarity of the two sexes is not mere bigotry or rights-violating oppression and discrimination comparable to slavery or racism or other age-long abuses. Such a suggestion[5] in the ruling is outrageous. Frankly, it reflects nothing less than utter contempt for the people of the Caribbean. People who historically suffered enslavement, oppression and racism.

Thus, fail.

For, we must have the rule of law (especially, through Constitutions), not rule of men. Therefore, judges simply cannot be allowed to dismiss inconvenient Constitutional provisions through dictating from the judicial bench by decree under colour of law.

Not even, under colour of “rights.”

Rights are an underlying issue: what is a right?  Let us therefore recall what was already noted[6] in this special series here at TMR:

“A right is a binding, moral claim that one must be respected and protected due to his or her inherent dignity and worth as a human being. Such worth can only come from our being made in God’s image and “endowed with certain unalienable rights.” Rights, that start with “life.” We are morally governed, conscience-guided creatures who have responsible, rational freedom. Clearly, then, to properly claim a right one must first manifestly be in the right.  Indeed, in order to persuade us the FAC expects us to know that we have duties to truth, right reason, prudence, fairness etc. That is, they too understand that we are morally governed creatures. But, such conscience-guided moral government, in the end, has just one credible source: the inherently good, wise, loving creator God.”

Therefore, it is fair comment to point out that those who applauded Justice Smellie’s ruling were inadvertently applauding the destructive subversion, usurpation and undermining of the rule of law through constitutional democracy in the Caribbean and the wider Commonwealth.

The Chinese speak of how a government has a mandate from heaven, which can be lost through folly and failure. That is because governments must be legitimate,[7] they must have what the American founders spoke of as “the consent of the governed.”  A government system that undermines and forfeits such legitimacy loses its “just powers” and so faces growing disaffection and the fatal, spreading contempt of ordinary law abiding people.

That is why it is a lesson of history (paid for with blood again and again), that governments that lose legitimacy become tyrannical as they try to impose increasingly unjust power. Such tyrannies will ultimately fail, but that usually costs rivers of blood.  Also, as certain neighbouring Caribbean countries show, there is no guarantee that a replacement will be an improvement.

Instead, let us carefully ponder how Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Washington and the other American founders warned us all, on July 4, 1776:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, fail.  Fail, through judicial over-reach. Fail, through not understanding that to properly claim a right, one must manifestly be in the right; on pain of trying to compel others to taint conscience, ignore sound moral principle and support one in evil. Fail, through not recognising that reason itself is inescapably morally governed and that moral government therefore traces to the inherently good and wise Moral Governor of the universe, our Creator. We must do better as a region.


[1]See https://caymannewsservice.com/2019/03/legalises-gay-marriage/

[2] See, TMR https://www.themontserratreporter.com/what-is-marriage/

[3] See KY Gov’t http://www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/otphome/announcements/statement-on-same-sex-marriage-ruling?fbclid=IwAR0m5tvwHvjd6ZPen82RAzmd-zA3Y0fVj172KftvDmaI0H3u1SjdWoReDWo

[4] See https://www.caymancompass.com/2019/04/01/the-issue-explained-a-closer-look-at-the-same-sex-marriage-ruling/

[5] See, https://www.caymancompass.com/2019/03/29/chief-justice-rules-same-sex-marriage-is-legal/

[6] See, TMR: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/fac-report-pushes-for-homosexualisation-of-marriage-how-can-montserrat-respond-reasonably-and-responsibly/

[7] See, SEP https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/legitimacy/

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Gov Prem Dep G Mrs Redhead passes DSC_4761

Judge Redhead Eulogised

by Bennette Roach

He was lauded at his retirement in Montserrat in 2016

Justice Morley opens special sitting to honour Judge Redhead

By invitation from the Registrar of the High Court office in Montserrat it stated that we (media) were “invited to attend a Special Sitting of the High Court of Justice on Friday, 5th April, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. – In Recognition of the Late Justice Albert Redhead.

Judge Redhead on the bench at his retirement in 2016
Mrs. June Redhead

It showed that the late Judge was born in 1938 and died in 2019. This tribute was in honour “… to his fearless contribution to justice in the OECS and his long service in Montserrat.

Justice Ian Morley who replaced Judge Redhead when he retired (before returning to assist at various times as he did prior), presided over the special sitting where he, in his welcome read the names and titles where required of the long list of persons who were in attendance in the small now packed make-shift courtroom at Government Headquarters, upstairs the High Court Registry.

The order of the addresses as shown on a programme was adhered to by His Lordship Morley. Order of Addresses; – The Honourable Attorney General – Mrs. Sheree Jemmotte Rodney; Mr. Kenneth Allen Q.C. O.B.E – Inner Bar;  Mr. David S. Brandt – Senior Counsel Utter Bar; Mr. Jean Kelsick – President, Montserrat Bar Association; Mr. Oris Sullivan – Director of Public Prosecutions; Mr. Kharl Markham – Utter Bar; Ms. Amelia Daley – Public Bar; and, Reply by His Lordship the Honourable; Mr. Justice Iain Morley Q.C.

A quick change to that order was allowed when Antigua veteran Attorney Ralph Francis, on court duty in Montserrat was granted permission to speak as he had missed the events and opportunity to do so during the events surrounding the deceased ceremonial events and his subsequent burial.

Judge Morley named a long list of persons in his opening welcome at the sitting. They included a list similar to the sitting at which Justice Redhead presided with a junior female judge Agnes Actee beside him.

(see: https://www.themontserratreporter.com/judge-redhead-retires-in-montserrat/).

QC Kenneth Allen, OBE
David Brandt, Senior Counsel
AG Sheree Jemmotte Rodney

He named them: His Excellency Governor Pierce; Premier Romeo, other Ministers of Government, Delmaude Ryan, Paul Lewis; other Legislative members to include Ag. Minister Claude Hogan and wife Cherlyn Hogan, and other hon members of the Legislative Assembly; Government Claude Hogan and Hon Deputy Governor Mrs. Lyndell Simpson and Mr. Roger Simpson; Attorney General Mrs. Sheree Jemmotte-Rodney, Hon Financial Secretary Colin Owen and Mrs. Owen, Professor Sir Howard Fergus; Senior magistrate Miss Pyumini Weeratunpga and Director of Public Prosecution Mr. Oris Sullivan. Then members of the public service commission, permanent secretaries, heads of departments Commander of the Royal Montserrat Defence Force, Major Alvin Ryan; Commissioner of Police, Mr. Steve Foster; President of the Montserrat Bar Association, Mr. Jean Kelsick; members of the Inner Bar, and members of the Utter bar. Members of the clergy, invited guests; Ladies and gentlemen. The judge then said, “welcome and what a long list here to honour Mr. Justice Redhead.

The judge recounted what had taken place already in Antigua for the judge and his funeral. “Albert had the most extraordinary send off on Antigua. There was a special sitting with the Chief Justice and chief justices from other parts of the Caribbean on Monday, 25th March,” he said which lasted for three hours and seven minutes. “And there was a service,” which lasted three hours and 43minutes. And a procession to Parham where I along with my brother and sister judges walked behind Albert in his hearse.”

Clearly impressed with those proceedings, he concluded, “And it was a wonderful day.”

Jean Kelsick, President Bar Association
Kharl Markham
DPP Oris Sullivan

Before calling on the bar members to address their tributes, Judge Morley noted the picture of Redhead on his right and a book of condolence to his left in which he invited guests to enter their names, at the end of the siting and also noting that names had already been entered; as the book  had already been at the entrance to the court room.

The AG Mrs. Jemmotte Rodney, began the tributes, and put the proceedings well into perspective. She had along with few others attended those proceedings in Antigua, where she told colleagues there, that Montserrat had already made tributes to Redhead at his retirement special sitting in Montserrat.

“…it’s unfortunate that as Caribbean people we wait Caribbean people we wait until after someone has passed to basically give them their flowers…in Montserrat we didn’t wait until Justice Redhead had passed…we had a special sitting for Justice Redhead upon his retirement. I was pleased to be able to say that,” she said.

She added an explanation for the reason of “this special sitting.” “My lord that notwithstanding it was still necessary for us to have this sitting. Mainly because we as counsels, we want to pay our final respects. And it also gives Mrs. Redhead and the other members of the family who are here, an opportunity to hear from us. What we thought of Justice Redhead and again, the impact that he had in us as counsels,” adding also, the impact that he had on the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.

Amelia Daley, public bar
Judge Iain Morley, Presiding

The AG noted making the point of deviation from not just the usual platitudes, but representing some of the Montserrat recollections of the judge. “Now the people of Montserrat have fond and not so fond memories of…” she declared, adding, it all depends on the circumstances in your interactions with him….”

“He was famous for his harsh sentences. Especially in relation to persons who came before him on child abuse and were convicted of sexual offenses… So basically, you came before him sitting in the dock, then you don’t have very fond memories.”

Immediately following was QC Kenneth Allen OBE, eldest member of the bar in Montserrat. He informed that the judge was called to the bar in the UK in society of the Middle Temple in 1972 returning to his home in Grenada. He gave an outline of Redhead’s career as a judge which began in 1985, following his first meeting with him in St. Kitts in 1975 when he served there as a Registrar. In 1985 he was appointed to serve Montserrat and Antigua.

QC Allen was brief as he continued to speak more of Mr. Redhead’s upward movement in the ECSC where he also served in the appeal courts.

He recalled as he reflected on the great life of Mr. Redhead, a thought that would not leave his mind, “how quickly memories of even very great men fade away.” After citing a story of Harry Belafonte who was a guest speaker at an event in St. Kitts which he attended, it brought him to say, “I hope and pray the memories of Mr. Justice Redhead would never fade away.”

Mr. Allen recalled incidents and remember the judge’s statement, cited by others, when he would win an appeal against Judge Redhead, he would react, “Well, you cannot always be right.”

From the inner bar to the utter bar, senior counsel David S. Brandt was next, and in his tribute, he pronounced: “Abraham Lincoln said “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power”.

 “Albert Redhead was one of the most powerful men I’ve ever known. His power derived from extra-ordinary intelligence, eloquence, charisma and wit, not to mention 34 years as a Judge. Yet the legacy he leaves is not about power. It’s about character,” he said.

He saw the judge as a role model, mentor and best friend to many.  He was fearless and stood up to power, as he cited one trial which involved former deceased Chief Minister John Osborne, where the Governor made certain requests, but refused vehemently by Redhead.

He said the judge had respect for lawyers, prosecutors and defence, and disagreements were not held over.

As he concluded, “…But I can’t help thinking that the Judge would want us to concentrate on what we have been given and what we can give, to celebrate life and carry on his legacy.”

Visiting Antigua Attorney Ralph Francis


The other attorneys who addressed as listed earlier all spoke in the same terms as much was said by the main earlier speakers. All present heard from Mr. Jean Kelsick – President, Montserrat Bar Association; Mr. Oris Sullivan – Director of Public Prosecutions; Mr. Kharl Markham – Utter Bar; Ms. Amelia Daley – Public Bar; and Antigua veteran Attorney Ralph Francis. Then the Reply by His Lordship the Honourable; Mr. Justice Iain Morley Q.C. He informed the rest of the proceedings for the departure from the court room, repeating the availability of the Condolence book and a gathering after in the Administration building meeting area.

 

 

HE Governor, Premier Romeo, Deputy Governor –
Mrs. Redhead leads procession at end of sitting 

 (These addresses may be heard as they become available at www.themontserratreporter.com or on soundcloud in due course).

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Redhead on the bench in Montserrat - DSC_5880 web

Justice Albert Redhead dies

Some sections of the legal fraternity here and across the Eastern Caribbean are said to in mourning at the news of the death of retired Justice Albert Redhead who died on March 4 after a brief period of illness in Antigua.

Justice on the bench in Montserrat

He has been referred to as a “powerhouse’ while Justice Keith Thom, the husband of Justice Gertel Thom who sat with Justice Redhead on the bench to officially mark in Montserrat, said of Justice Redhead a former colleague was a ‘legal giant’.

“He was my mentor and my friend. I recall the days when I appeared before him as a prosecutor. Every day was a learning experience,” he said, adding that he was happy he was able to express his love and respect directly to Justice Redhead when he was alive.

According to the Antigua Daily Observer, there have been similar sentiments expressed as tributes poured in throughout the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Bar Association.

Justice Redhead has served throughout the OECS region. He was called to the bar of England and Wales in 1972 and two years later he moved to Saint Kitts and Nevis where he began working as a Crown Counsel. He moved on to being Registrar of the High Court and also served as a magistrate of the courts. In 1980 he became the Director of Public Prosecutions for Saint Kitts and Nevis, before moving on to becoming a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court ECSC in 1985.

In 1997 he became an Appeals Court Judge of the same court, serving often in Montserrat, retiring in 2003 but was re-appointed more than once thereafter to act as a judge in the High Court in several countries in the OECS.

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Attorney Warren Cassell

Brandt’s trial wavers

Brandt addressing court at Justice
Redhead’s retirement

Attorney-at-Law David S. Brandt, a former chief minister of Montserrat was arrested and charged on Monday, September 21, 2015, on sexually related charges allegedly involving minors dating back to 2010, has had several legal interventions through the appellate courts.

Now on new and or adjusted charges, the news is that new Justice Garret Evans has decided that the trial will take place in June or early July this year.

But, there arose seemingly new problems which suggest a trial may not take place on the matters.

As recorded earlier, “The man known as ‘the man of the people’ and still popularly referred to politically as, ‘The Heavy Roller’ is second to former Premier Reuben T Meade who served for 25 years non-stop from 1991 – 2014, and he for 23 years as the longest serving legislators in Montserrat alive…”

The new dispute is that the prosecution had allegedly told the court that Mr. Brandt would not receive a fair trial in Montserrat and ask that the matter be transferred to another jurisdiction, creating a problem for the trial taking place at all. Mr. Oris Sullivan, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in Montserrat disputes the information and according to reports has told ZJB News that the decision made by Justice Evans for the trial to proceed, was based on the eight counts on which Mr Brandt is being charged including exploitation of girls under the age of 18 years.”  

Mr. Sullivan has said: “…that Mr Brandt is capable of having a fair trial in Montserrat. In fact Justice Evans has ruled that having regard of the evidence before him that Mr Brandt is capable of having a fair trial on Montserrat.”

DPP Oris Sullivan

Sullivan said he is responding to “all sorts of rumours or statements that the crown raise the issue that Mr. Brandt is incapable of getting a fair trial,” citing that as being the issue on the matter.

“Of course the issue was raised…before the court. Let me set the records straight and say the crown did not raise that issue before the court,” Sullivan says, explaining: “The issue the crown raised before the court was to bring the courts attention to the fact that Mr. Brandt is a very influential person and the selection of a jury might prove difficult in those circumstances. We are always of the view that Mr. Brandt will get a fair trial in Montserrat. He is not the only high profiled person to be tried on Montserrat.”

Attorney Warren Cassell

But, Attorney Warren Cassell, who contends he is not a member of Brandt’s defence team as reported, has expressed surprise at the DPP’s utterings. “I was pretty much surprised to hear the DPP on radio saying that they always thought that Mr. Brandt could get a fair trial in Montserrat, he says.

“In fact on the tenth day of January 2018,” Cassell continues, “the said DPP and his cohorts to include Annesta Weekes QC (who is the lead prosecutor in the matters) made an application to the court to transfer the trial to another jurisdiction, and in their submission they said, and I am quoting from it, I have a copy, and it is date stamped, ‘filed in the in the court – (it says) “we submit that it is not possible to ensure a fair trial of this defendant if a jury in Montserrat is empanelled…”

“So as a minister of justice,” Cassell concludes, “he is misleading the public to now come and say that it was always their contention that Mr. Brandt can get a fair trial.”

Earlier Cassell had expressed the view that since the prosecution had said Brandt could not get a fair trial in Montserrat, with the defence agreeing, and that according to him there being no legal provision for such matter to be heard except in front of his peers as the law requires, there can then be no trial.

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Alvin Martin’s nolle prosequi

by a Contributor

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Oris Sullivan issued a nolle prosequi in a case, ending what court observers described was more of persecution than prosecution, of an assault charge against Mr. Alvin Martin, an industrial art – technical teacher at the Montserrat Secondary School, after a two-year wait. DPP  claimed he had enough evidence to successfully convict Mr. Martin. However out of a sense of generosity, the prosecution is ending the case.

Long standing defense counsel Mr. David Brandt argued that according to law, the case should have been concluded within a six-month period and suggested that the case was without merit in the first place. The student in question the attorney argued did not side with the prosecution. In fact according to him he was declared a ‘hostile’ witness by the prosecution as the student maintained in court that Mr. Martin did not bite him on his lip as claimed.

Student witnesses on the spot at the time of the incident also denied the prosecution’s claim.

ZJB News reporting on the matter said that Mr. Martin reported that the incident was grossly and maybe intentionally exaggerated by the school’s administration. No one at the school or the Ministry discussed the student-teacher contact with him before he was arrested and suspended from his job. “The fact is,” he says, “Ministry officials did not entertain him when he made requests to present his side of the story.” Martin accordingly said that a key Ministry official told him: “I have already heard the Principal’s version of the story,” and dismissed him.

Last year, another male teacher at the MSS was acquitted of assault in a matter we reported, should never have seen the courts. The concern for the public in such matters is the fall out that can result from matters of such nature and the cost to the public purse to be paying out monies, for no service as well as replacement teachers.

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