Tambourine Army marches on after charges are dropped against Latoya Nugent

May 17, 2017
Norman Grindley/Chief photographer Tambourine Army co-founder Latoya Nugent leaves the Kingston and St Andrew Parish court a free woman.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has dropped all charges against Tambourine Army co-founder Latoya Nugent. Nugent was charged with three counts of using a computer for malicious communication under the Cybercrimes Act.

She is alleged to have published information on social media accusing several individuals of being sexual predators.

"Yes, really glad about this ... it was casting a pall over everything," Annie Paul wrote on social media.

Women's advocate Nadeen Spence told The STAR that there was only one likely outcome in the case.

"They had no case against her in the first place," she said.

Nugent was charged after some of the individuals made a report to the police. Nugent pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Nadeen Spence

This morning, in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, DPP Paula Llewellyn said she would offer no further evidence against Nugent.

"Recklessness or negligence concerning whether the sending of the information would cause harm is insufficient," Llewellyn explained.

"This is a critical consideration before a decision to prosecute is made. In the context of social media where communication may be sent as banter, jokes, or even careless commentary, there must be evidence of a criminal intent. Therefore, due regard will have to be given to the surrounding circumstances in which the message or data was sent to satisfy this element of the offence," the DPP said.

Before dismissing the case, Senior Parish Judge Judith Pusey told Nugent that she should be mindful of the impact that social media posts can have on people's reputations.

"The law might be in the state that it is but the destruction of someone's reputation cannot go unpunished," the judge said.

"One has to be conscious of the things that they publish in social media," said Pusey, while quoting the popular saying "the same knife weh stick he goat sticks sheep".

"I urge you to consider seriously what you put out there," Pusey said.

Nugent, said outside of court that she would now reconsider how she goes about her advocacy.