Man in courtroom viral video says sorry
Stephen Witter, who first came to the public's attention in March after he chased away a contingent of police from a section of Hellshire Beach, St Catherine, where he was staging an event, has apologised for disrupting court proceedings.
Witter was charged with affray, threat to kill, contempt of court, two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm, use of malicious communication, threat and indecent language
The charges arose from an incident on June 11 when he conducted himself in boorish manner, having been brought before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court to answer charges of issuing threats.
When he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday, Senior Parish judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague resorted to having Witter handcuffed in the prisoner's dock.
"You are still in cuffs because of the history. When I say the history, on the very last occasion you came before the court, your behaviour was very disruptive. So, in light of that posture, I view it appropriate and I have instructed the police officers to keep you in handcuffs," the judge previously said.
However, a noticeably calm Witter walked into the dock, pleading guilty to the offences against him, with an exemption of the charge of use of malicious communication, which the prosecution withdrew.
After spending four months and 12 days behind bars, Witter told the judge how remorseful he was for his actions.
"Everything that took place, I'm sorry for what happened. I just want to apologise to the court and everyone that was present that day, for everything that I have done and I promise, I will do my best not to let anything like that happen again," he said.
In response to Witter, the judge commended him for apologising but scolded him for his gross disrespect to the court.
"Mr Witter, you have done the decent thing in the circumstances. I don't know why you had to be in custody this long for your own doing. You have been in custody and I don't know why there was this hesitation to not enter a plea initially. These offences are bad, bad offences because of where it took place. The courthouse should be a hallowed place and let me tell you something, as a judge I will ensure that the courthouse gets the sort of respect that it deserves. The court is a place of justice and because of that, Sir, you need to respect every inch of this building," the judge stressed.
Cole-Montague then imposed a fine of $30,000 for malicious destruction of property or serve six months imprisonment and for the charge of affray, Witter is to serve 120 hours of community service.
He was also fined $3,000 for indecent language or serve an imprisonment of 10 days. For the charge of threat to kill, he was also made the subject of a probation order for a year.
He will be sentenced on October 27 for the other charges of assault and contempt of court.
Witter was further remanded in custody.