Cayman Islands Chief Justice Anthony Smellie has dismissed speculation that former Jamaican Supreme Court judge, Ingrid Mangatal, might face removal from the Cayman Islands bench because of her guilty pleas last month, to charges of drunk and careless driving.
Instead, Justice Smellie has indicated that Ms Mangatal will remain in her position as Grand Court Judge, who presides over cases in the civil, family and financial courts on the islands.
The Cayman Islands News Service reported that the Chief Justice said he was satisfied that no further action was required in the case. He also confirmed that since the case was concluded, Justice Mangatal has been allowed to discharge her duties as a judge without any interruption.
On March 15, Justice Mangatal admitted being one and a half times over the legal limit when she crashed her car into a concrete wall on the perimeter of Governor’s Square at around 10 pm on September 4, 2017.
Senior Magistrate Juan Wolffe had ordered her to pay a fine of CI $350 in relation to driving under the influence and a fine of CI $250 for careless driving was also imposed. Justice Mangatal was also banned from using her driver’s license for a year.
When she was arrested, Justice Mangatal had told the police that she had consumed three glasses of wine earlier that evening and that she had taken prescription medication before going to bed earlier because she was very tired.
She disclosed to investigators that she had no memory of leaving home, still in her night-wear, and apparently visiting a fast-food restaurant before the crash.
In commenting on the case, the Chief Justice through a statement issued by his office, said, “Regrettable though the incident of driving was, fortunately no one was hurt and the court has quite properly dealt with the case according to the law.”
“Justice Mangatal’s explanation, including very importantly the absence of any deliberate intention on her part to drive the car, was not refuted or opposed by the prosecution… The chief justice is entirely satisfied that no further action is required.”