In this morning’s [Aug 20] Plea Court, Ms Tomika Taylor, 36, finally entered a plea of not guilty to a single charge of unlawfully assaulting another woman and causing her actual bodily harm. The alleged offence is said to have taken place in St George’s on 9th July 2012.
After she had elected for the matter to be heard in the lower Court, Senior magistrate Archie Warner read out the charge and asked for her plea. Instead of answering with a plea of Guilty or Not Guilty, Ms Taylor answered: “No comment.”
More than once, the Magistrate sought to explain to Ms Taylor that the process required that she give an unequivocal answer. However Ms Taylor became more heated saying that she would only answer “no comment” because she was not aware of any of the details of the charge and that until she had more details she would continue to answer “no comment.”
The Magistrate adjourned the matter, but not before telling Ms Taylor that if she continued with her behaviour, he would be obliged to have her put in the police holding cells and would continue the matter later.
The Magistrate asked Duty Counsel Susan Moore-Williams if, during this temporary adjournment, she would use the time to explain the proceedings to Ms Taylor so that this initial phase could continue.
About twenty minutes later, after disposing of several other matters Ms Taylor, with Duty Counsel Ms Moore-Williams standing with her, returned to face the Magistrate. The charge was read out again and Ms Taylor was asked to plead. This time she pleaded Not Guilty.
Magistrate Warner set trial for 25th September and bail at $2,000 with a like surety.
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