More heat for lawyer - Attorney who hit an officer could face further sanctions
A Supreme Court judge has used the appeal filed by attorney-at-law Lennox Gayle against his conviction for boxing a police superintendent to underscore that police personnel, acting in a lawful manner, must be respected by all citizens.
Gayle was found guilty in August 2012 of the offences of assaulting a constable and resisting arrest in breach of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Act. He was given the maximum fine of $2,000 for each offence.
He was arrested and charged following an incident in which the superintendent was slapped after he attempted to arrest the attorney for breaches of the Noise Abatement Act during an entertainment event.
It was believed, at the time, that the attorney was the proprietor for the event and that it was being held without a permit from the police. An investigation later revealed that a permit had been issued.
However, Justice David Batts, in upholding the conviction, found that the superintendent had an honest belief that an offence was being committed and was acting in pursuit of his lawful duty when he attempted to arrest Gayle.
"I will now take this opportunity to reiterate that no one, regardless of occupation or standing in society, is above the law. The law must be obeyed and those who enforce it, provided they act lawfully, must be respected lest we descend into a state of anarchy," Batts wrote in his judgment.
He has also directed the registrar of the Supreme Court to forward a copy of the judgment to the General Legal Council so that an investigation can be conducted and action taken, if necessary.