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Man removed from Senate by Police

A 68-year-old man was arrested in the Senate last week for “prevention of breach of peace”.

In 2009 Burnell Cross was found guilty of unlawfully and maliciously disturbing the Senate. In July of that year he screamed obscenities at Senator Kim Wilson and accused her of stealing $100,000 from his mother during a Senate session.

He spent two months in jail awaiting his trial because he was unwilling, or unable, to sign bail papers and witnesses were frequently off the Island.

Magistrate Archibald Warner found him guilty and sentenced him to three months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months.

But on Wednesday, Mr Cross entered the Senate at approximately 5.30pm and sat down in the public gallery. He quietly told a

Royal Gazette reporter: “Watch this, watch what's going to happen. They are going to call for security any minute and I will be taken away.”

Shortly after his arrival Opposition Sen Michael Dunkley asked Mr Cross if he could have a word with him. The two men stepped outside the chamber, but returned a few minutes later.

At approximately 6pm, two officers arrived and asked Mr Cross to step outside.

He said: “No, I have a right to watch the Senate. I have done nothing wrong. You can't make me leave unless you arrest me and what can you arrest me for?

“Yesterday I was a slave and you are trying to make me a slave again. I do not have to go outside with you, speak to my lawyer if you want to.”

During the discussion Mr Cross's voice rose, though he was not shouting, and the Senators continued on with their business. The police officer repeated his request for Mr Cross, which he refused to do, the officer then left. Thirty minutes later four officers returned and again Mr Cross was asked to leave. He repeated that he would not leave and said the only way he would was if he was arrested.

One officer put his hand on Mr Cross's arm while another handcuffed him. As he was led from the room an officer said: “Arrested for prevention of breach of peace.”

Outside the chamber Mr Cross repeated his claim they were trying to turn him into a slave and added that Police were taking him to a whorehouse.

The Royal Gazette asked the Police why Mr Cross was arrested. A spokesman said: “Around 6.30pm on Wednesday Police responded to a report of an annoying person on the Cabinet Grounds. As a result, a 68-year-old Hamilton Parish man was arrested. Inquiries into the incident are underway.”

Last night Sen Dunkley told this paper he had spoken with Mr Cross because he had been in the Senate when he swore at Sen Wilson.

“I helped escort him out with former Senator Marc Bean,” he said. “I wasn't in the Senate this time, I was actually in the meeting room when Sen Wilson came in and said Mr Cross was back.

“I asked if I could speak with him and told him we didn't want a repeat of what happened last time and he had to sit quietly and respect the rules of the Senate.”

Sen Dunkley said he was not aware if Mr Cross made any threats and was not sure why he had been arrested, but he added: “Sen Wilson sits on that side of the Chamber, with her back to the public gallery.

“After last time I understand why she was concerned. I think that if someone causes a disturbance during Senate they should not be allowed in again. It is hard enough doing your job when people are coming in and out. I understand why she had concerns.”

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Published March 21, 2011 at 10:14 am (Updated March 21, 2011 at 10:13 am)

Man removed from Senate by Police

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