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SGT. Laborde guilty of using threatening language, discharged, not guilty on other charges

A 44-page Judgment dated January 2, 2014, handed down by Senior Magistrate Robert Shuster has left many questioning the justice system and wondering about the ability of the police to properly carry out protecting the public and bring to ‘justice’ offenders against the public.

Magistrate Shuster in the matter  where Police Officer Sergeant Ottley Laborde Sergeant of Police was charged with three separate offences, alleging threatening language, disorderly conduct and assault, brought by the RMPS against one of their own.

The Magistrate found Police Officer Sergeant Ottley Laborde not guilty of Assault and Disorderly Conduct, but guilty of Threatening Language after a re-trial.

This result followed the summary trial where the Sergeant of Police was charged with three separate offences alleging threatening language, disorderly conduct and assault.

The matter had been heard by another magistrate in 2012, when Laborde was found guilty. He appealed, and the Court of Appeal ordered a re-trial before a new magistrate.

In his Judgment, the magistrate records as follows, presented in excerpts. “On Saturday 17th Dec 2011, the defendant was employed as a police sergeant with the Royal Montserrat Police Force; stationed at Police HQ. At approximately 11.00 a.m. that same date, the defendant arrived at Police HQ.

“…he was confronted by the complainant Ms Jasmine Leonard who was standing at the top of the steps, facing PHQ. When Ms Leonard saw the defendant she shouted certain words – which she directed towards the defendant. (Those words he later recorded, “You are wicked you are a wicked man for what you did to my brother”. The statement with the word wicked corroborated by several witnesses).

The prosecution claim the defendant responded inappropriately towards Ms Leonard, responding in an aggressive and also in a threatening manner, by using inappropriate language and advancing up the grassy slope leading from PHQ, heading – directly towards where Ms Leonard was standing.

The prosecution claims the defendant intended to assault Ms Leonard, because of an incident, involving two members of the complainant’s immediate family.

That incident occurred earlier that morning, during a police operation in Drummonds…arrests were made, and the defendant and another person were injured.

The prosecution also claim when the defendant made his way up the grassy slope heading towards the complainant, he stooped and attempted to pick up a stone [or stones] from the ground – to use as a weapon to assault Ms Leonard. (The defendant in his defence claimed he slipped)

At the same time the defendant is said to have uttered threats towards the complainant – threats were in these words– Me ah go buss ah you fxxxxxx head. Me ah go get two [2] stone now and buss up ah you fucking head.

On seeing the defendant approaching her in an aggressive manner; and seeing the defendant stoop down, the prosecution say the complainant fled the scene, running towards the sea, because the prosecution say the complainant feared for her own personal safety.

the defendant reached the top of the grassy slope, he was restrained by a civilian working in the vicinity of the Chief Ministers Office. That individual was Val Pollidore he helped restrain the defendant, with help from the defendant’s colleague Insp. Semper, who had just arrived at PHQ.

The prosecution say whilst restrained, the defendant struggled to break away, and throughout the period of restraint, the prosecution say the defendant used threatening words again directed towards Ms Leonard.

Laborde and his defence team claimed that Ms. Leonard, was in fact the individual who provoked the defendant, who was walking peacefully towards PHQ. Upon hearing Ms. Leonard shouting, the defense claimed the defendant made up his mind to arrest Ms. Leonard for breach of the peace since the menacing words used towards him were uttered in a public place.

In his Judgment the magistrate in finding the Defendant not guilty of assault the learned Magistrate stated that “[t]he defendant was never standing directly in front of Ms Leonard – or colloquially put – to offend or occupy her immediate air-space – further the defendant never threw any rock or dirt towards Ms Leonard- thus there was no indirect assault committed on her.”  In dismissing the charge of disorderly conduct the court held that “[t]he court heard no evidence from any witness during the course of this trial that this offence of disorderly conduct occurred in Drummonds.”

The court also held that the prosecution failed to prove the charge of acting in a disorderly manner – beyond all reasonable doubt and the defendant is acquitted.  The prosecution was only successful in prosecuting the charge of threatening language. Nonetheless, the court granted Laborde an absolute discharge without conviction under the provisions of sections 35(1) of the Penal Code Cap 4.02.

In a strange twist (the magistrate claimed his action is taken under “Common Law”) in addition ordered, Jasmine Leonard, a  prosecution witness in the matter who was not charged, to be bound over to keep the peace, in the sum of $500.00 for a period of two years.  The Judgment states:”…then Jasmine Leonard is Bound over to keep the peace, in the sum of $500.00 for a period of two years from today’s date, she is specifically bound over to keep the peace and be of good behaviour to all manner of persons – and especially towards members of the Laborde family…”

In the meantime, Commissioner of Police Steve Foster confirmed with The Montserrat Reporter that Sgt. Laborde is back on duty at Headquarters and there is no intention to bring disciplinary charges against him, as earlier perceived.

(see full judgment:

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A 44-page Judgment dated January 2, 2014, handed down by Senior Magistrate Robert Shuster has left many questioning the justice system and wondering about the ability of the police to properly carry out protecting the public and bring to ‘justice’ offenders against the public.

Magistrate Shuster in the matter  where Police Officer Sergeant Ottley Laborde Sergeant of Police was charged with three separate offences, alleging threatening language, disorderly conduct and assault, brought by the RMPS against one of their own.

The Magistrate found Police Officer Sergeant Ottley Laborde not guilty of Assault and Disorderly Conduct, but guilty of Threatening Language after a re-trial.

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This result followed the summary trial where the Sergeant of Police was charged with three separate offences alleging threatening language, disorderly conduct and assault.

The matter had been heard by another magistrate in 2012, when Laborde was found guilty. He appealed, and the Court of Appeal ordered a re-trial before a new magistrate.

In his Judgment, the magistrate records as follows, presented in excerpts. “On Saturday 17th Dec 2011, the defendant was employed as a police sergeant with the Royal Montserrat Police Force; stationed at Police HQ. At approximately 11.00 a.m. that same date, the defendant arrived at Police HQ.

“…he was confronted by the complainant Ms Jasmine Leonard who was standing at the top of the steps, facing PHQ. When Ms Leonard saw the defendant she shouted certain words – which she directed towards the defendant. (Those words he later recorded, “You are wicked you are a wicked man for what you did to my brother”. The statement with the word wicked corroborated by several witnesses).

The prosecution claim the defendant responded inappropriately towards Ms Leonard, responding in an aggressive and also in a threatening manner, by using inappropriate language and advancing up the grassy slope leading from PHQ, heading – directly towards where Ms Leonard was standing.

The prosecution claims the defendant intended to assault Ms Leonard, because of an incident, involving two members of the complainant’s immediate family.

That incident occurred earlier that morning, during a police operation in Drummonds…arrests were made, and the defendant and another person were injured.

The prosecution also claim when the defendant made his way up the grassy slope heading towards the complainant, he stooped and attempted to pick up a stone [or stones] from the ground – to use as a weapon to assault Ms Leonard. (The defendant in his defence claimed he slipped)

At the same time the defendant is said to have uttered threats towards the complainant – threats were in these words– Me ah go buss ah you fxxxxxx head. Me ah go get two [2] stone now and buss up ah you fucking head.

On seeing the defendant approaching her in an aggressive manner; and seeing the defendant stoop down, the prosecution say the complainant fled the scene, running towards the sea, because the prosecution say the complainant feared for her own personal safety.

the defendant reached the top of the grassy slope, he was restrained by a civilian working in the vicinity of the Chief Ministers Office. That individual was Val Pollidore he helped restrain the defendant, with help from the defendant’s colleague Insp. Semper, who had just arrived at PHQ.

The prosecution say whilst restrained, the defendant struggled to break away, and throughout the period of restraint, the prosecution say the defendant used threatening words again directed towards Ms Leonard.

Laborde and his defence team claimed that Ms. Leonard, was in fact the individual who provoked the defendant, who was walking peacefully towards PHQ. Upon hearing Ms. Leonard shouting, the defense claimed the defendant made up his mind to arrest Ms. Leonard for breach of the peace since the menacing words used towards him were uttered in a public place.

In his Judgment the magistrate in finding the Defendant not guilty of assault the learned Magistrate stated that “[t]he defendant was never standing directly in front of Ms Leonard – or colloquially put – to offend or occupy her immediate air-space – further the defendant never threw any rock or dirt towards Ms Leonard- thus there was no indirect assault committed on her.”  In dismissing the charge of disorderly conduct the court held that “[t]he court heard no evidence from any witness during the course of this trial that this offence of disorderly conduct occurred in Drummonds.”

The court also held that the prosecution failed to prove the charge of acting in a disorderly manner – beyond all reasonable doubt and the defendant is acquitted.  The prosecution was only successful in prosecuting the charge of threatening language. Nonetheless, the court granted Laborde an absolute discharge without conviction under the provisions of sections 35(1) of the Penal Code Cap 4.02.

In a strange twist (the magistrate claimed his action is taken under “Common Law”) in addition ordered, Jasmine Leonard, a  prosecution witness in the matter who was not charged, to be bound over to keep the peace, in the sum of $500.00 for a period of two years.  The Judgment states:”…then Jasmine Leonard is Bound over to keep the peace, in the sum of $500.00 for a period of two years from today’s date, she is specifically bound over to keep the peace and be of good behaviour to all manner of persons – and especially towards members of the Laborde family…”

In the meantime, Commissioner of Police Steve Foster confirmed with The Montserrat Reporter that Sgt. Laborde is back on duty at Headquarters and there is no intention to bring disciplinary charges against him, as earlier perceived.

(see full judgment:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

)