Where are the priorities? Where is the common sense?
That’s Michael Arthur Francis Marshall you’re looking at, and a dangerous fellow he is too. On Errol Barrow day the 20 year-old student had one rum too many and decided it would be a good idea to take off all his clothes and run naked in front of thousands of T20 cricket fans at Kensington Oval.
And he was armed too – with what one of Shona’s girlfriends describes as a “formidably-sized” weapon. With a weapon like that it’s pure luck that nobody was injured. Young Michael ran right by a police woman who was apparently so intimidated or fascinated that she didn’t even try to stop him. Luckily though three policemen came to the rescue, arrested the young lad and took him away to the laughter of the crowd.
Then the idiocy really started…
The police did what they were supposed to do, and that’s well and fine – they took young Michael away from the crowd, put some clothes on him and assessed how drunk or sober he was.
Then somebody made a decision that instead of calling a responsible relative, older friend or school administrator to look after him, the police were going to make a big deal of this heinous criminal – who, by the way, has never had a brush with the law before. Young Michael was charged and dragged before the court on Tuesday morning where he “confessed that he wilfully, openly, lewdly and obscenely exposed his person… at a public place and misconducted himself in an annoying manner.” (Nation News Streaker gets day in court)
Magistrate Graveney Bannister ordered a pre-sentencing report – A PRE-SENTENCING REPORT – and adjourned sentencing until March 9th. Bail was set at $10,000. That’s right – TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS BAIL for a 20 year-old student who pulled a prank. And a prank was all that young Michael pulled that day; it wasn’t as if he was standing behind a tree exposing himself as he watched children playing at the beach. It was a foolish prank fueled by alcohol and a bit of youthful energy.
Now folks, there might be something here that we don’t know but at first blush (blush – get it?) this whole business looks like a tremendous overkill and a waste of precious police and court resources. Once it got past the “he’s sober enough to go home” stage it started costing big money, manpower and court time. Why not just give him a warning and send him on his way? Is Michael really that hard nosed of a criminal that we needed this? Is there a tremendous risk he’d do it again? The newspaper says this is his first offense of any kind.
If the police or the court don’t inform the public of why this was pushed all the way to ten thousand dollars bail and a pre-sentence report, I believe Bajans have a right to wonder where the priorities and common sense are. After young Michael sobered up, it would have been a much better use of police manpower and resources to send the officers north to arrest a few of the Boscobel Toll Gang who are a serious and ongoing threat to this country’s economy.
But that would take some real police work, wouldn’t it?
Thanks to a loyal reader who sent us the following…
December 2006 – Father and Son Charged in racially motivated attack on 15 year old boy – bail $10,000.00
August 2007 – man charged with rape – bail $10,000.00
October 2007 – mini bus accident driver kills 1 person injures many – bail $10,000.00
April 2011 – Two Barbadian police officers granted bail for alleged assault on Jamaican woman – bail $5,000 each
July 2011 – Woman lures a man to a massage parlour, then assists her boyfriend to stab the man. – bail $5,000 !!!
November 2011 – Thief steals 24,000 dollars worth of goods – bail $10’000.00
January 2012 – Young man has a few drinks and streaks at a cricket match – bail $10,000.00 – Why?
Do you see something wrong with this? I do. Why is a 20 year old foolish boy with no record and no danger to society being charged the same amount of bail as a criminal who poses a serious risk?