July 10, 2015
Is the matter against Bing personal? – Joachim

Social commentator Stephen Joachim is questioning why radio station co-owner and talk show host Dwight ‘Bing’ Joseph was prosecuted and fined for traffic offences when a government senator who recently admitted to a traffic offence was not.

Joachim, an accountant by profession, was speaking {{more}}on Boom 106.9 radio on Wednesday when he asked of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams if Joseph had been prosecuted for personal reasons.

“Colin I hope it isn’t that you were trying to get back at someone who was married to Louise Mitchell…?” Joachim asked.

The outspoken accountant said he used to work in the offshore sector when Williams was the Offshore Finance Inspector. Williams was succeeded in his post by Louise Mitchell, who was married to Joseph.

“…I just want to know Colin…is this a personal issue?”

Joachim said that he is asking this question because government senator Luke Browne had not been similarly prosecuted.

In January, 2015, it was discovered that Browne had been driving for years without a valid driver’s licence and had only paid his driving permit for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 on January 5, 2015.

Joachim said during the recent Carnival festivities, he met Browne and asked him “You did the same stupidness Bing did. Luke how much did you get fined? … How long did your licence get suspended for?”

According to Joachim, “… this is the problem in our country. If you wearing red, you will defend stupidness that red does, just as when you are wearing yellow you defend stupidness that yellow does. When do we get right from wrong?”

“…How is it right for ‘the chosen one’ to get fined and prosecuted when it wasn’t right for Luke Browne…?

Joachim said Browne, responding to his questions told him he was just trying to stir up trouble.

“This is not about stiring up trouble. This is about favouritism, it is about you being treated like any other citizen, Luke Browne,” Joachim said he told the senator.

On July 1, Joseph appeared before Magistrate Carla James at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court and pleaded guilty to four traffic offences. In relation to the charges of driving without a permit, licence and insurance, James fined Joseph $500 each, to be paid forthwith or spend five weeks in jail. For driving without a seatbelt, he was fined $350 forthwith or spend three weeks in jail. The fines were paid. He was also disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for three months.

According to the prosecution, at 4:45 p.m. on May 18, 2015, at the Prospect public road, traffic officers stopped motor vehicle P37, owned and driven by Joseph. Joseph was asked to show his driver’s permit, which he did not. It was also discovered that the vehicle was not licensed. When the police enquired about the vehicle’s insurance, Joseph claimed that he was insured. However, checks later revealed that this was not so. Joseph was also not wearing his seatbelt at the time.

According to a usually reliable police source, notice was given for Joseph to produce his licence and insurance.

“He did produce his insurance on May 28, 10 days after. It showed that it started on that same date. Records at the traffic department and licence office show that he never held a driver’s licence,” our source said.

SEARCHLIGHT was also reliably informed that on May 19, the day after he was stopped, Joseph purchased a learner’s permit to go through the process of becoming a licensed driver.

“He then went through the process he was supposed to do a long time ago. He did all the tests and he is now the holder of a class B drivers permit, but that is currently suspended from what happened in court,” the source told SEARCHLIGHT.

In December 2014, opposition parliamentarian, Nigel Stevenson, the parliamentary representative for South Leeward also admitted to having driven an unlicensed and uninsured vehicle for five years. He also was not prosecuted.

SEARCHLIGHT asked a legal expert for his opinion as to why weren’t Browne and Stevenson prosecuted. According to the source, who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity, there are differences in the cases.

The expert said neither Browne nor Stevenson was stopped by police; neither made a false claim to the police and both Browne and Stevenson had previously held valid driver’s permits, whereas Joseph had never held one.