Magistrates Court: Marc Bean’s Trial Underway

August 7, 2015

Mark-Bean-Toni-DanielsThe Magistrate’s Court trial in which Opposition Leader Marc Bean is charged with allegedly using offensive language started this morning [Aug 7] with Magistrate Archie Warner in place.

Mr Bean has been charged with using allegedly offensive words to OBA member and ex-Senator Toni Daniels by allegedly calling Ms Daniels “a political w****” and saying that he will “pass her along for a ten cent lick”.

This is alleged to have occurred in November 2014, and Mr Bean has pleaded not guilty, and is being represented by Charles Richardson.

At the outset, Magistrate Archie Warner and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions discussed whether or not Constitutional matters might be involved in the case alleging the use of offensive words at the Polling Station in the November 2014 bye-election in Constituency 33.

If so, Ms Clarke and the Magistrate agreed that the matter might have to be tried in the Supreme Court. It was agreed that the case would, for now, proceed in the Magistrate’s Court.

In the opening stage, Magistrate Warner pointed out that Supreme Court rulings and other judgments throughout the Commonwealth were that the same words used in certain contexts might be offensive or insulting in one context but not another.

The Magistrate pointed out that at this stage, it seemed that the charge of using offensive words had allegedly occurred between two persons who were engaging with one another as members of opposing political parties, at a place where those political opponents had gathered for political purposes, and that political parties are private entities.

Ms Daniels spent over two hours in the witness box giving her evidence and being questioned by lawyer Charles Richardson, with questions raised as to whether her Police statement made in November 2014, after the alleged incident, varied from some of the statements that she was making in Court today.

Ms Daniels referred to a man, who she said appeared to be intoxicated and who was wearing a West Ham United T-shirt, approached and questioned her at the OBA tent. The man then asked the same set of questions of all the other OBA people there. She said that the man then went across to the PLP tent and did the same.

In questioning her, Mr Richardson drew out that Mr Bean was in the PLP tent talking to this man and, because the two tents were not far apart, Mr Bean might have been overheard when he made the remarks about ‘Ms Daniels being a political w****.’

Mr Richardson also introduced into evidence an opinion piece written by Ms Daniels and appearing on Bernews on 30th October 2014. In this opinion piece Ms Daniels is identified as the OBA Communications Committee Chairperson.

In the article, Ms Daniels referred to Jamahl Simmons — the then PLP candidate in Constituency 33 — as ‘a very flawed politician. Simple ambition, not political philosophy, is the force that drives him.” Mr Richardson asked if that description could be said to be describing a ‘political w****’.

The case adjourned at around 1:15pm today, and will re-commence on Tuesday 11th August.

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