PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad CMC – A magistrate has sentenced a 34-year-old man to 14 days in jail for using obscene language towards Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar at a political meeting earlier this year.
Magistrate Adia Mohammed, sitting in the San Fernando Court, south of here, Thursday, told Marlon Richardson that he had been disrespectful to the second highest office holder in Trinidad and Tobago.
“The day we feel comfortable, safe and brave enough to use obscene language to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, we have reached a whole new low,” Mohammed said, adding that it mattered not whether he voted, agreed with Persad-Bissessar’s policies or liked her.
The magistrate said he had to show respect for the office.
Richardson was charged with using obscene language to the annoyance of persons on a public street after he was arrested on September 30 during a public meeting of the coalition People’s Partnership government in San Fernando.
The police officer, who charged him, told the court she heard Richardson shouting expletives and saying, “Kamla, yuh take meh house. You is a liar. I want back my $10,000 (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents).”
Under cross examination Richardson said, “I will never use them kind of words to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. I eh no stupid fella.”
Earlier he had told the court that he was a supporter of the United National Congress (UNC), the biggest partner in the four-member coalition government, and that he was “jumping up and having a good time when he was arrested”.
In passing sentence, Magistrate Mohammed said that contrary to the lines of the national pledge on honouring parents, teachers, leaders, elders and those in authority and being clean and honest in thoughts, words and deeds, Richardson’s language was “vile, disrespectful, distasteful, disgraceful. More so, it was used toward the person who holds the second highest office of the land. Something has to be very, very wrong”.
She told him obscene language had become prevalent in society, to the extent that people believe it is acceptable behaviour and also that Hollywood glamourized obscene language in movies and song.