It is with great concern that I pen this letter to you. I happened to be in the Anna Regina Magistrates Court on Tuesday last and I was astonished by the behaviour of a senior defence lawyer, Mr Alfred Bacchus.
The prosecutor of the court was questioning a witness when Mr Bacchus found it suitable to interrupt him. I’m not saying that he should not have interrupted but the statement that he used was degrading and insulting. Mr Bacchus exclaimed, “He is behaving like a donkey in court and trying to help the witness tell his story.”
That statement was totally unnecessary and I personally felt insulted even though the statement was not directed to me. The prosecutor retorted by asking the lawyer what was the leading question that he was objecting to but I don’t think Mr Bacchus even heard the question.
Mr Bacchus was asked to retract the statement that he made by the presiding Magistrate Mr Sunil Scarce, which he did, but the prosecutor was obviously so upset that he asked for a personal apology at which point he got up and left the courtroom.
Mr Bacchus was told by Magistrate Scarce that it was unbecoming that counsel with the amount of experience that he had would speak in that fashion in court, and he asked him to apologize to Mr Ramana before the end of the session.
Mr Bacchus agreed but not before he made several other remarks that were uncalled for.
This made me think of the heckling that took place in Parliament the other day and I was so saddened that the same was brought to a Magistrate’s court.
This incident caused a disruption in the court session and court was dismissed until after the lunch break.
I hope that another such incident would not occur in the near future and we would all be mindful of what we say.
(Name and address provided)