If accused David Nathaniel Lynch thought an apology for his “extreme” expletive-laden outburst in the District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court 24-hours prior would suffice, he was sorely mistaken.
Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant today sentenced the 24-year-old, of Roger’s Road, The Ivy, St Michael, to a one-year jail term for contempt of court.
It’s the first time since being called to the bench, that Cuffy-Sargeant has ever had to impose such a sentence as she has previously admonished or ordered that the offender be removed from the court as prescribed by law.
This afternoon, Lynch who explained that he had been “on remand for four calendar years” apologised for yesterday’s outburst.
“It pains my brain that I am in jail so long, four calendar years, and nothing is being done with my matters, not even a file ma’am . . . and the prosecutor saying one thing every month,” Lynch, who is charged with several offences under the Firearms Act said.
“This playing with my mind ma’am because it seems to me that I am being unfaired by this court, ma’am. So I am asking for your forgiveness for using disrespectful language towards you, ma’am. I am also asking you for your sympathy from your heart to forgive me,” said Lynch, who had told the magistrate, among other things, to “carry your r******,” as he left the No. 2 District ‘A’ Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
However, that apology fell on deaf ears today as Cuffy-Sargeant explained to Lynch that she had been “working very hard” and “trying my best” to get his matters going but they were time-consuming as he was charged for “several very serious matters” including those under the Firearms Act that involved not only different co-accused but also several complainants.
She further explained that he had previously mentioned that one of the complainants in a 2014 case was no longer interested in her case but that person had not given the court any such indication while others had said that they wanted their matters to go to trial.
“So it is unfair to say to the wider public that nothing is being done. These are complicated matters . . . and as a result of a simple request . . . you turned on the court and utterly disrespected the court.”
Making it clear that it was her duty to safeguard the court the magistrate informed Lynch that he was not the only one with rights as an accused person but that the complainants also had rights.
“When you come to court . . . certain protocols . . . must be followed. You did not only disrespect the court but you also disrespected the prison officer . . . and the prosecutor who were trying to calm you down yesterday.
“That type of behaviour cannot be overlooked as . . . [it] was extreme. It is also not the first time that you have behaved that way and this court has accepted several apologies from you and tried to work with you,” the magistrate explained as she handed down the sentence on the grounds that Lynch used violent, insulting, indecent, abusive language in court and to a sitting magistrate.
Cuffy-Sargeant further explained that she had admonished Lynch on several occasions in the past for his behaviour and had also ordered him to be removed from the court.
The other penalty for such an offence is the imposition of a fine.
However, the magistrate made it clear that the sentence was for contempt in the face of the court and not on the charges that Lynch currently faces.
Those cases, which include the use of a firearm with intent to commit the indictable offence of wounding with intent and engaging in conduct that placed six people in danger of death or serious bodily harm, will come up again for hearing on October 31.