Thursday, July 22, 2004

Bdos: Stand up, John Thomas!

Eyebrows raised when it was hinted recently that some female revellers may appear topless – their breasts covered only with body paint – on Kadooment Day.

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin was quick to warn revellers that they will be taken into police custody if they appeared topless, though he expressed some doubt about securing a conviction for any charges that were likely to be brought against them.

Exposure of the breasts in my view cannot be successfully prosecuted as indecent exposure under the Minor Offences Act, 1998 because the Act specifically speaks about exposure of the ‘person’, which some lawyers have argued means penis. The term ‘person’, was defined in the case of Evans v Ewels [1972] 2 All ER 22 as meaning the penis. It should be noted however that this definition was deduced from the offence created by section 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824.

Section 4 of that Act created an offence of indecent exposure that was limited to the exposure of the penis by a male to a female with intent to insult, a completely different offence from that under the Minor Offences Act and the former Vagrancy Act, Chapter 156. From the terms of section 4 of the 1824 Act it was obvious ‘person’ meant penis.
So, a penis is a person, eh? Only in Barbados, folks, only in Barbados.


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