From the Courts
July 13, 2018
Female accused found guilty of threatening life of journalist

Shanet Williams of Layou was reprimanded and discharged after being found guilty of threatening the life of journalist, Lyf Compton.

Williams was charged that on October 20, 2017, she made use of threatening language to Compton, who is a senior reporter at SEARCHLIGHT.

It is alleged that she said “Wait ‘til Cocoa come out. Yo’ go see. Ah go mek he kill yo’.”

Colin ‘Cocoa’ David, who is Williams’ fiancé is incarcerated.

Yesterday, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s court, after going over the evidence given by both parties in the case, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett gave grounds on which he made his decision.

The magistrate said that he considered the answers given in the cross examination and the evidence of the police officers who dealt with the matter.

“From the evidence, it could be diffused that both parties were exchanging words to each other. One of the questions the court had to consider was whether the virtual complainant would go to the police and make this complaint if this did not happen,” he said.

Burnett also noted that although there was mention of at least one person witnessing the incident, he only had the words of Compton and Williams to go by.

The magistrate concluded that it would be strange for Compton to report the matter if it did not happen. And he disagreed with the defendant’s counsel, Roderick Jones’ previous submission that because Cocoa was incarcerated, the threat could not be carried out.

After saying that he respected the magistrate’s decision, Jones proposed that harsh reprimanding and discharge would be a suitable punishment for his client.

The lawyer noted that Williams was a hardworking mother of two who is just “trying to make ends meet.”

“We live in a community where people sometimes are a little careless with their spoken words,” he said. “I do submit that threatening language is not something to be taken lightly but given all the circumstances around this…we can understand why statements were made.”

The prosecution said that they agreed that “a reprimand and discharge, a bond or even a fine,” was suitable punishment for the crime.

After Burnett delivered his judgement, both parties stepped down and left the court silently.