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Man remanded in custody over contempt of court is released

A man who was remanded in custody for contempt of court for cursing was released yesterday after his lawyer argued that he was unlawfully detained.

Elizabeth Christopher, for the defence, told Magistrates’ Court that her client, Michael Simons, 25, should have been shown more leniency because of the sensitive nature of DUI court.

Ms Christopher said: “This court is made to steer people away from jail time. Every minute he spends dressed in orange he’s being unlawfully held in custody.”

The court heard that Simons, from Pembroke, had cursed under his breath during DUI Court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody by Magistrate Tyrone Chin for contempt of court.

Simons had been ordered to attend a meeting with the Department of Court Services to start the DUI programme despite his claim that it would conflict his schedule.

Mr Chin gave him an opportunity to speak with the Department of Court Services to explain his schedule, but he cursed under his breath as he left the courtroom.

Mr Chin said that Simons’ language and previous conduct had been inappropriate and unacceptable and held him in contempt of court.

Ms Christopher appeared in Magistrates’ Court yesterday to argue for his immediate release, telling Mr Chin: “None of that makes it appropriate for him to go to jail.”

She said that her client was liable to use profanity when frustrated and that the court should have been understanding of this.

Terry-Lynn Griffiths, for the Crown, did not object yesterday to Simons’ release from custody.

Mr Chin released Simons on $500 and adjourned his case until July 20 to return to DUI Court.

Simons was first sent to DUI Court on June 6 after he admitted a breach of the previous midnight to 5am Government curfew and a refusal to take a breath test.

The incident took place on March 6 in Pembroke.

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