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ST. VINCENT | Ex-model who 'dissed' minister's wife granted bail

Yugge Farrell, right, is escorted from the Kingstown Magistrate's Court by plainclothes and uniformed police officers on Monda January 22. Yugge Farrell, right, is escorted from the Kingstown Magistrate's Court by plainclothes and uniformed police officers on Monda January 22.
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — A 23-year-old former model charged with using abusive language to the wife of a senior government minister, was released on EC$1,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) bail Monday when she appeared in a Magistrate's Court after three weeks of court-ordered hospitalisation at the Mental Health Centre.

Yugge Farrell has been accused of using the abusive language at Karen Duncan-Gonsalves, the wife of Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves, on January 4 this year.

The Lowman's Bay resident, previously famed for her performance in the Caribbean Next Top Model, will return to court on December 17 this year.

Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett ruled that Farell's plea on January 5 before Magistrate Bertie Pompey is a nullity in light of a psychiatric report, which said the accused woman was unfit to plea.

“Where does that leave this matter?” the senior magistrate asked Director of Public Prosecution, Colin Williams after he ruled on the submissions made one week earlier.

“Where does it leave the matter?” the DPP asked to which the senior magistrate replied “yes, because the plea has to be a proper plea before this court before we can proceed”.

William said that “my understanding is that first of all there is a further report as to the status [of the accused],” in reference to a new medical report on Farrell that was presented to the defence and prosecution just before hearing on the matter recommenced.

“My only anxiety — the only bit of anxiety is in terms of the last paragraph. It addresses the duration of treatment, so to speak, while of course, saying — there is no longer a necessity for the original order as made to continue,” he said.

The DPP was referring Pompey's order that Farrell be hospitalised at the Mental Health Centre for two weeks of psychiatric evaluation.

Burnett extended that hospitalisation for a further week, last Monday, to allow him to decide on arguments presented by the DPP and defence counsel, Grant Connell.

“There is nothing else that excites the prosecution,” the chief prosecutor further said.

Since her hospitalisation, Farrell has made a number of allegations, including that she had been in a relationship with the 44-year-old minister that ended in 2016.

When the matter resumed here Monday, Barbadian Queen Counsel, Andrew Pilgrim, took over from Grant Connell as the lead counsel for Farrell.

Connell, who has been representing Yugge Farrell since her arraignment on January 5 said  that “I have been contacted by several senior attorneys throughout the Caribbean, who have expressed their willingness to render their legal services, pro bono”.

After the magistrate's ruling, Pilgrim rose and asked if the Crown had any objections to bail.

The DPP said there was none, and Pilgrim asked for bail, saying that he thinks the court is now happy that matters are being addressed in terms of treatment for Farrell.

The ruling came in the face of a new medical reports presented to the court just before the matter against Farrell came up for hearing.

The defence and prosecution were informed of the report and were allowed to read its contents just as the proceedings were commencing.

A psychiatric report presented one week earlier had said that Farrell was unfit for trial.

  • Countries: St_Vincent_Grenadines

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