Judge remains on bench following DUI conviction

| 24/04/2018 | 82 Comments

(CNS): Chief Justice Anthony Smellie has confirmed that Justice Ingrid Mangatal will remain on the bench in the wake of her conviction for drinking and driving. In a short statement about the judge following press enquiries, the chief justice said he was satisfied that no further action was required. Last month Mangatal pleaded guilty to DUI and was fined a total of $600 and banned from driving for 12 months. She was arrested following a single-vehicle collision on the West Bay Road in September last year.

The chief justice confirmed that since the case was concluded, Justice Mangatal has continued without interruption to discharge her duties as a judge.

The chief justice’s office said in a statement, 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 statement continued, “The chief justice is entirely satisfied that no further action is required.”

Justice Mangatal had told the court that she had drunk three glasses of wine and taken medication before going to bed early on the night in question. She told police she had no memory of leaving home, still in her nightwear, and apparently visiting a fast-food restaurant before the smash. Evidence submitted in the case indicated that the medications she had taken before retiring, mixed with the alcohol and the fatigue, could have caused amnesia.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (82)

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  1. Yellowman says:

    As a person who seen my fair share of judges in court..I will tell you Ms Mangatal has a natural genuine great personality..and that you cant buy .. shes human..not a robot.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I believe that her position on whether to continue hearing cases should have been made by an independent board not by a fellow judge. We teach our children not to drink and drive otherwise they could end up in court. The case may be posponed because the judge is too drunk to know their hand from their feet. What a mess.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I get the feeling people did not read the case but are commenting. I don’t know the judge but from reading the case
    1. The judge did not go to a bar, get drunk and knowingly get behind the wheel of a car. Instead she had a reasonable amount of wine, went home and got ready for bed and took some medication
    2. She doesn’t remember anything after this. Similar to sleep walking. Experts have testified that the medication has been known to have that effect and cause amnesia

    I agree if she had killed someone she would be in a lot more trouble. But maybe she would have been given less than 1 year jail time similar to the young lady that knowingly was speeding and caused the death of a passenger in her car

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  4. Anonymous says:

    With all the confusion…I asked my Lawyer today about the story when he was last “called to the bar”.

  5. Anonymous says:

    All things considered, I wouldn’t want her hearing my case, and if she already did, I’d demand a review.

    Am I wrong?

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    • Jotnar says:

      Yes. Probably the best judge in the FSD other than the CJ. What she does off duty isn’t really relevant and it’s not as if she is judging traffic court.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Everything a Judge does, on-duty or off-duty, is relevant to their societal role and profession.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Simply untrue and such a statement is a disservice to the public and the judiciary. To suggest that the judiciary can conduct their private lives in any manner including breaking the law and sit on the bench to make judgement over the private lives of others is truly surprising .I’m concerned that this is a push by vested interests to convince the public that this behaviour and subsequent decision of the CJ is perfectly normal. It’s simply NOT.

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      • Anonymous says:

        There’s a written code of conduct that judges have to adhere to and which she singularly didn’t.

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        • Anonymous says:

          How can you give that a thumbs-down?! It’s patently true.

        • anonymous says:

          Your CJ does not have the power to remove this judge, only the Privy Council ultimately may do this.

          Subsections (2) and (4) of section 49J of the Cayman Islands (Constitution)
          Order 1972 (“the Constitution”) provide as follows:

          “(2) A judge of the Grand Court may be removed from office only for
          inability to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising
          from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) or for
          misbehaviour…

          (4) If the Governor considers that the question of removing a judge
          of the Grand Court from office for inability as aforesaid or for
          misbehaviour ought to be investigated then –

          (a) the Governor shall appoint a tribunal, which shall
          consist of a Chairman and not less than two other
          members selected by the Governor from among persons
          who hold or have held high judicial office.

          (b) the tribunal shall inquire into the matter and report
          on the facts thereof to the Governor and advise the
          Governor whether he should request that the question of
          the removal of that judge should be referred by Her
          Majesty to the Judicial Committee.”

      • Anonymous says:

        A judge upholds the law. How can she now sit in judgement of others no matter what the circumstances?

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  6. Bertie :B says:

    Will she have to recuse herself from all DUI cases brought to her ? just asking

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  7. SSM345 says:

    Judge, Chief Inspector of Police, Politicians and people from all walks of life pick up DUI’s in Cayman constantly. Its part of the culture and unless there is some sort of affordable public transportation system and more police presence / efforts deterring this form of behavior nothing will change.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    She is a judge, she can do whatever she likes. Just try an stop her. You puny peons in the community do not deserve to be in her graces. She makes more money, has more friends,has a bigger house, drives a better car than any of you. Drop these accusations now, she is above any of them.

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    • Faye says:

      If “anonymous” has ever driven while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, sleep deprivation, distraction from a passenger or texting/talking on the phone, then they are impaired and much likelier to crash than those focused on driving. Will “anonymous” then have their income, friends, house blasted in the news?

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Remember Rolston. He was also a disgrace. Big time govt. Minister

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    • Anonymous says:

      Rolston was an arrogant drunk of the worst type. They cannot be compared.

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    • Observer says:

      In my mind it comes down to intention—did she intentionally and knowingly get into her car while she was under the influence?

      If she had consciously broken the law, she would have then been disqualified to continue to serve as a judge.

      I am, however, prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt.

      As it is, this incident should be judged against a lifetime of dedication to the law and all that it stands for. She has to her credit never having committed a legal offense or even brushed up against the law.

      On that basis I am prepared to give her this one break—on admittedly regrettable circumstances—but about which we can never be truly sure. I give her the benefit of any doubt.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ye, but we’re talking about a traffic offence. DUI.

        Until the law is amended, people won’t care how many they get….it’s not a criminal offence to get a DUI in Cayman.

        The laws in this territory are exceptionally asinine.

        1. DUI = traffic offence (wow)
        2. Smoking cannabis = criminal offence (cave-men here)

        Yet – you will get less time for raping your own daughter or son than for smoking cannabis. (holy shite)

        What are we encouraging in this part of the world!>?

        • Jotnar says:

          Except your comment is just complete BS – get less time for rape than Ganga. Right. So want to cite either the sentencing guidelines or actual cases that demonstrate that? No, thought so. Just because you think that might be the case doesn’t make it it a fact.

      • Anonymous says:

        She deserves one break, everybody does. She is an excellent member of the judiciary held in high esteem by her peers, she is also human. Good luck to her .

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        • Anonymous says:

          This is nonsense. Nobody “deserves one break”. Why?! Where do you get your views from? The TV show “Friends”?

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          • Anon says:

            1, Based on the media reports of what was said in Court, She does not recall getting into the car. Her lawyer said she had combined medication and some glasses of wine and went to bed. The next thing she knew she had crashed.

            2. I also take account of a lifetime of dedication to the law in which she had never even once had a speeding ticket.

            In that context, I choose to believe her and give her the benefit of the doubt.

            She was, however, wrong to combine medication and alcohol.

            That is where I “give her the break”, 9:53 am.

  10. JTB says:

    Justice Mangatal should clearly be sacked for the offence of not having been related to a prominent politician

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  11. West Bay Premier says:

    Now that she back to the bench, I hope she can be on my case , maybe I’ll get some good Justice .

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Sums up the cosy relationship within the judiciary which the JLSC was supposed to have smashed – until, wrongly, the Chief Justice was appointed to it by the “best governor we ever had” through the back door.

    Where IS the JLSC in all this? Oh wait, the same governor took away its powers to discipline judges and gave them to …. the Chief Justice.

    She should have been fired.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Government policies have never included firing people for DUIs why would Justices be treated any differently

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      • Anonymous says:

        Because as judges they should be held to a higher, indeed the highest possible, level of accountability. They should NEVER break laws they are appointed to uphold and enforce. It’s that simple.

        And Government policy has nothing to do with the retention or otherwise of judges.

        Otherwise, great point.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:23 Your are in the 1980’s mindset. Name one CEO or Chief Officer who can’t discipline their own staff. Why is the CJ any different? The best Governor ever did the right thing and removed a huge injustice. Get over it!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Looks like the judicial dept’s yes-men have been mobilised….

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree and its to the point that for the rest of us that know that this is absolutely outrageous conduct of the CJ and Mangatal, we are met with this sort of nonsense about ‘1980’s mindset’. There was a reason the CJ wasn’t included in the first draft of the constitution for the JLSC and a reason he wasn’t appointed in the first place to the JLSC when it was set up. This demonstrates without a doubt that there is a problem with our judiciary when the standards that should apply no longer apply and we have to accept that they are a throw back to the past. it is unacceptable. It is the slippery slope folks. Disgraceful!

  13. Anonymous says:

    SO IT’S A D.U.I. NOT A MURDER. Some East End Wickos bring in illegal animals on a plane and get a slap on the risk and the Judge is being publicly shamed. WTF!

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  14. Anonymous says:

    She no longer fit to judge; she guilty of the same thing she sending people to jail for. She has absolutely no credibility. STEP DOWN!

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    • Jotnar says:

      Sigh. Apart from the fact that she deals with civil cases and doesn’t send anyone to jail. But hey don’t let facts get in the way. BTW, you or anyone you know perhaps sent to jail for something?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    This isn’t a mistake of driving over the speed limit! Had she killed someone, which was highly possible given her condition and state of mind I don’t think any of you would be so disingenuous to suggest this was human error. What nonsense! And I doubt the vast majority of us who have young persons in prison for ganja sees this as justice having been done and seen to be done. The judgement was fair but remaining in the post as if this was trivial and we are incapable of replacing her with an untarnished judge for the post is ridiculous! The Govt employees who have been removed from their posts for similar behavior or currently awaiting trial should now rely on this as a precedent. The precedent has now been established from the very top, our judiciary! What’s really scary is I always suspected this was going to be the outcome just wasn’t sure they could have pulled it off .

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    • Anonymous says:

      So…..if one has a DUI can they be called to the Bar? That would be quite a rank racket if it is true!

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yes. Many lawyers have DUIs. How do you think we put up with all of you?

      • Anonymous says:

        The standards applicable to lawyers are very different to the bench. Or at least that was the case .should still be true. Very sad development.

  16. Messenjah says:

    Did the CJ order a substance abuse assessment that is srandard for people caught with a dui?
    Too many inconsistencies in the story that would be a glaring sign to a Counsellor. However, we should know that justice only serves those wiith money and influence, which is evident in many cases in Cayman. Some don’t even reach the courts.
    Defense attorneys should challenge every decision she makes on the bench as she has demonstrated making poor decisions in her personal life.

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  17. rick says:

    Hope this affects her PR application, cant have law breakers in Cayman

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Seriously!! A judge who can’t abide by the law herself. Can’t she read drugs labels? So because she didn’t kill anyone, that’s ok? It’s pure luck that she didn’t kill anyone! There is no excuse for drink driving! Why doesn’t anyone in the Cayman Islands get it? How many more people have to die? People think it won’t happen to them, they’ll be fine, they aren’t that drunk. Well yes! It can and will happen to you and maybe some innocent person too. If you are drinking get a taxi or a friend to drive you. If you are taking medication read the label or don’t drink! This judge needs to be a responsible member of society and as a convicted drink driver she no longer is. Would you employ someone new, who has a criminal record to be a judge? No! It’s just a joke! I know shes had her punishment, but as a judge who upholds the law, she needs to lose her very respected job! Sorry but she doesn’t deserve the respect anymore. She’s a convicted drink driver.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    What is the big deal? Judges are human Just because she made a mistake and subsequently owned that mistake immediately doesn’t disqualify her.

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    • Anonymous says:

      She endangered the public, by driving drunk. That is serious enough for tougher consequences given her status as a judge.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The mistake people are making here is that it is not her status as a judge that determines what her punishment should be. The law determines that and she received the correct punishment. Removal from the bench would, in her case, be the most serious punishment of all – she’d probably take a few years in prison if she knew she could go back to the bench! Judges love the law and work extremely hard. There was never any chance such a commonplace offence, with all mitigating and no aggravating factors, plus immediate guilty plea, would cause the removal of a Grand Court judge. No way. Change some of the facts around and you have a different matter entirely. The behaviour that led to this regrettable incident is consistent with the lifestyle of a judge…glass or two and an early night. It just went wrong with the medication. Nothing really in there to investigate or give such concern about her that she should fall from such high grace.

        • Anonymous says:

          Obviously you do not follow current events. There are many judges ‘judging’ punishment on the offenders when they are in a position of trust and imposing heavier sentences.

  20. Anonymous says:

    total non-story here. justice was done.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A serving Judge got less than most average joe DUIs. How is that justice?

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      • Anonymous says:

        she did not get less.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Really? Why are other DUIs fined $1000? Was there a mandatory Alcohol treatment program prescribed as part of her 1 year driving ban (the only part of this sentence that seems to be in-line with the norm)?

  21. Anonymous says:

    She doesn’t need her drivers license to do her job, what’s the big deal

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  22. Anonymous says:

    I did not expect any better. Poor example by someone who should know better.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    What a disgrace.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Good decision

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  25. Anonymous says:

    People in high position of responsibility living recklessly?

    How did she remember exactly how much she drank and what else she took with the alcohol?

    I think she is a dangerous person if she got out of bed, got in a dangerous “weapon” and do not remember doing so. That alone is evidence that she is not fit to be a judge, until there is reasonable proof that she is alcohol FREE.

    Those in high positions must be held to high standards.

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  26. Tut Alors. says:

    How many times have we heard from drivers involved in serious accidents that they remember nothing of the incident. We must draw our own conclusions.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Judges aren’t perfect they do make mistakes just like any other human. Good call CJ. ??

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  28. Say it ain’t so says:

    Just incredible. I wonder if it had been a Police Officer, Immigration Officer or Customs Officer he/she would still have a job.

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    • Jotnar says:

      You are joking right? Given the recent history of immigration, police officers, fire officers and customs officers and traffic offences? She would have got at least a years paid leave for a start.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    This is really just a case of a stressed-out judge who was trying to get some sleep. They tell you not to combine those medications with alcohol, but alcohol makes them stronger. If you are desperate for sleep, far from heeding the warning not to mix them, you may think they go together perfectly. This can have unexpected results. Luckily, no one was hurt except the judge. I am much more interested in whether she is sleeping better now than any question of removing her from the bench.

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    • Anonymous says:

      After having to deal with some of the vagabonds that she must have coming before she is lucky if all she needs is three drinks and a pill.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    This island is one entire mental asylum.

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