“There is already a problem with bad behaviour and unruly conduct and you are not helping your industry or your trade by being drunk while you are working.”
Magistrate Douglas Frederick made those comments to a public service vehicle conductor just prior to slapping him with a six-month sentence for threatening to shoot a Magistrate last Friday.
Jeff Confield Washington, of Lewis Gap, Green Hill, St Michael appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court earlier today, where he admitted committing the offence but said he was drunk at the time.
According to Station Sergeant Neville Watson, the complainant in the case was Magistrate Graveney Bannister, who sits in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court.
Bannister was stuck in traffic at the junction of Cowell Street and Lower Broad Street, The City around 10:25 a.m. on June 26.
During that time, Washington, went before Bannister before, approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and knocked on the window, which was closed. Magistrate Bannister, who was celebrating his birthday on that day, lowered the window and asked Washington how he could help him.
The man informed Bannister that his jeep had blocked his ZR van earlier. He then told the Magistrate: “You could have let me through ahead of you. You know I would shoot you?”
“Pardon me?” the complainant asked.
“You know I would shoot you,” Washington replied.
When the 24-year-old was later interviewed by police, he confessed to threatening the Magistrate.
In Washington’s address to the court today, he said he was at work at the time of the incident but had been drinking.
“What were you drinking?” Magistrate Frederick asked.
“Old Brigand,” Washington replied.
He went on to explain that he did not know what was going on at the time, nor did he know the person was a Magistrate.
“So how can you conduct a minibus and not know what is going on? That is the way you operate? So how do you know to collect the fare and tell the driver when to stop or move?” the Magistrate queried.
In making his submissions, Washington said: “I want to apologise to Magistrate Bannister, first of all, and to any other police officer or citizen I may have cursed that day.”
Stating that he is a “hardworking person” with two jobs, the convicted man asked the court “to be as lenient as possible”.
Admitting that you were drunk “does not mitigate in your favour at all”, Magistrate Frederick replied.
“You should be sober in order to conduct business,” the Magistrate added, noting it was a very serious offence.
A three-month term was also imposed in relation to an outstanding $500 fine from another court. That will run concurrently.