Two Laws In Barbados – One Is For Rich And Famous Visitors…

This is a brief note about the trial (or guilty plea) of Geoffrey Knights, the violent boyfriend of British television actress Gillian Taylforth. Knights was arrested for assaulting a female desk clerk at the Tamarind Cove Hotel. (see our original article here)

Associated Press is reporting that Geoffrey Knights walked out of court and “may” have to do some community service in the U.K.

As is usual in Barbados, the details of his trial, plea or sentencing are being jealously guarded from the public by the Magistrate Ian Weekes and those at court. The victim is not talking to the press (not that I blame her), so once again everyone is left to guess at what happened in the Barbados courts.

When it comes to the rich and famous, or even just rich tourists, mysterious things happen all the time in the Barbados courts – and they are truly mysterious because the public is never told the details. Foreigners are often granted bail in serious cases and then fly away never to be seen again.

Very mysterious, those courts…

British soap star’s boyfriend found guilty of assaulting Barbados hotel employee

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: The boyfriend of British television actress Gillian Taylforth was found guilty of assaulting a receptionist at a Barbados hotel, court officials said Thursday.

Magistrate Ian Weekes ruled Geoffrey Knights, the 52-year-old boyfriend of the actress on the long-running BBC TV soap opera “EastEnders,” was guilty of slapping a 25-year-old receptionist at the Tamarind Cove Hotel on the tropical island’s west coast.

Knights and the receptionist, Cyanda Phillips, declined to speak to reporters after leaving court.

In a statement, Magistrate Ian Weekes said Knights may have to serve community service on his return to England. He did not disclose the amount of the fine he imposed against Knights.

… read the original article at the International Herald Tribune here.

19 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Celebrities, Crime & Law

19 responses to “Two Laws In Barbados – One Is For Rich And Famous Visitors…

  1. Bajanboy

    I am sure the receptionist accepted an apology and a monetary settlement from the accused, and in exchange the judge did not incarcerate him.

  2. The Facts

    There are two sets of laws in operation in Barbados that is beyond any doubt I said this when Eddie Fearless was taken to court and hidden away from the view of the cameras and then slapped on the wrist for his digraceful actions.

  3. The Facts

    There are two sets of laws in operation in Barbados that is beyond any doubt I said this when Eddie Fearless was taken to court and hidden away from the view of the cameras and then slapped on the wrist for his digraceful actions..

  4. neil

    but I thought court events are in theory open to the public. how can the magistrate decide what not to disclose? i would’ve thought that unless national security was at risk, the public should have access to any information coming out of the law courts.

  5. concerned

    but I thought court events are in theory open to the public

    ————————————-

    not in Barbados.

  6. TimeWarp

    but I thought court events are in theory open to the public
    ————————————-
    not in Barbados.
    ……………. so..are we..like…stuck in a time-warp..?
    Is this Henry VIII’s Court? with jesters?
    Pass me another cup of Mead, will ya?

  7. Yardbroom

    The Facts

    Did you say two sets of Laws one for the rich and famous and another for the ordinary citizen in Barbados.

    You do a disservice to “real” Law which can be defined as : set of rules regulating the relationships between the State and its subjects and the conduct of subjects towards one another.

    In Barbados it is a joke…..it is made up as people go along, as is deemed expedient depending on the class or wealth of the accused.

    An individual is either subjected to a Community Order or not, it is not a question of “may” if one is subjected to a Community Order, the court will indicate the seriousness of the offence and the purpose of sentencing that the order is required to fulfill.

    If the offender is subjected to serve a Community Order in England there are special guidelines, because Breach of a Community Order is a serious offence, as the Court can amend the order to make it more onerous, and a PSR -Pre Sentence Report-
    is required, unless there are special circumstances.

    This case has been kicked into the long grass…….

  8. Chase

    Bajanboy:
    I am sure the receptionist accepted an apology and a monetary settlement from the accused, and in exchange the judge did not incarcerate him.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Even if this was the case ,wouldnt the judge still have to punish you according to the charge brought against you,or wouldnt you have to say in court that you dont want to give any further evidence,before the judge can slap you on the wrist?
    Just asking…………ok.
    I am glad this happened though,what about the guy with the 2 shotguns and over 3000 rounds of assorted ammunition from Rendezvous?Or the Brit and his wife who used the racial slurs to the ladies?
    We bend over backwards to please these people who come here and use their money and power to do as they like to the ordinary citizens for the sake of the almighty $$.
    If it was me you could be sure he would be experiencing the service at the QEH all now.
    Just sick of the double standards in this country.

  9. give-it-time

    This case has been kicked into the long grass…….

    ———————————–

    You know something Yardbroom, sometimes a hot case may get kicked into the long grass only to smoulder for a while before breaking into flame and burning the whole pasture.

  10. Yardbroom

    Give -it -time

    The case should have been open to the public – I hope it was – unless a youth was involved or it was deemed necessary to protect the State or for security reasons.

    The gentleman could have pleaded guilty in open court, a fine would have been imposed and compensation awarded to to young lady for trauma and any injuries sustained. In mitigation for the accused, the early guilty plea and remorse could have been taken into consideration.

    The aggrieved would have accepted the apology and the accused by the fine and compensation would have accepted the authority of the Court and the proper jurisdiction of the Laws of Barbados.

    The Law would not only have been done but seen to have been done.

    What has happened is that in our efforts to please, we seem ineffective and weak and leave ourselves open to be the butt of jokes at cocktail parties.

    All very silly…

  11. ^^

    I think Yardbroom has the correct handle on ‘how it went down’
    Read ^^ above.

  12. bp

    Yep, two sets of rules. How many times have you seen in the court section these words ” he was seen receiving a package of vegetable matter from someone on the beach” and the tourist gets fined $2500.00 and is deported. The local who sold it to him (and was seen selling it to him) is never arrested. On the same page a local is fined $350.00 for the same amount of ganja. You’re right, two sets of rules.

  13. New Reader

    This story should in some senses be linked to discussions about governance and corruption in Barbados because it points to whether there is a law or set of rules specially for certain privileged persons. There may be many things that we dislike about the USA, but there tends to be a more even-handed application of rules and therefore justice. It is interesting to see how the scandal that is surrounding the World Bank’s president (former US Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz) is being dealt with. FYI he authorized a large pay rise and promotion for his domestic partner ahead of her transfer to job in the US State Department; she was a staff member when he took his new position. See, example the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/13/AR2007041300788.html?hpid=topnews. A lot of what the public needs to know is being brought out by journalists and by transparency within certain institutions. Lots of lessons to draw.

  14. reality check

    unfortuneately the Barbadian politicians and the judiciary are much like Lord Conrad Black, now being tried in Chicago and likely to go to jail for some significant time. His own arrogance and self-righteousness disallowed him from making an earlier settlement with the SEC for a pittance of what he must now pay in terms of money and jail time.

    Lord Black actually believes that he is above the Law and that there are seperate rules for people like him with power and prestige with no corresponding responsibity or obligation to be scupulous when it comes to honesty, integrity and accountability.

    It really is quite sad!!!

  15. double standards

    corruption whether political, economic or judicial, has no colour but it gives off a strong disagreeable odour regardless of what position you have and what clothes you are wearing

  16. littleboy

    A wee bit of news!!!
    Knights was found guilty and must attend anger management classes for six months as a condition of the sentence.
    Magistrate Weekes has so ordered.
    Knights and family have been transferred to the Colony Club hotel, a sister hotel of the Tamarind Cove, and leaves the island on Sunday 15th April.

  17. Anonymous

    It is not about rich and famous…
    Once again it is about who has the powerful connections in Barbados
    And of course just how adept and conscientiously the RBPF are doing their duty or not at the time (purpose work or not- who knows)

    I sick of the corruption too all I trying to make Bajans understand is that it has more to do with all the undercurrents of corruption in our island

    I may sound like I am rambling and I am sure you will not understand what I mean until one day you end up needing the help of the police and for yourself see how the RBPF is working.

    I hoping that Mr. Dottin will figure out what is going on before it is to late.

  18. legaleye

    Mr. Weekes is not always so lenient towards foreigners as anyone in his morning session yesterday could testify.

    His unedifying treatment of a foreign woman was nothing like his kid glove chastisement of wide boy Mr. Knights.

    The women was there without counsel her lawyer being otherwise engaged in the election.
    A fact that Mr. Weekes chose to make mileage of at her expense with his not inconsiderable talent for sarcasm.

    Mr. Weekes seemed to take great delight in barracking the unfortunate woman who looked totally bewildered (as well she might) at his baffling reference to actors and actresses.

    He seemed astounded and disbelieving at her admission that she did not in fact follow the trials of celebrity offenders. Don’t you watch TV?

    Mr. Weekes not everyone spends their free time watching Eastenders.