Falkland Islands' Justices of the Peace last week remanded three individuals in custody after they entered guilty pleas for charges of violent disorder. Sonny Ball, Samuel Goldsworthy, and Chassy Duncan appeared at the Summary Court after they were involved in a serious incident on the evening of Monday 29 June.
The court in Stanley heard that the three men, New Zealand nationals who were crew on the NZ fishing vessel San Aspiring, were in Deano’s Bar on the evening in question.
After being refused service, the three indiscriminately assaulted a group of customers in the bar.
Prosecuting, Stuart Walker told Justices of the Peace that during the attack, one of the defendants had struck a woman while she was cowering on the floor. Another, the court heard, struck one of the complainants with a glass.
Five individuals required attention at King Edward Memorial Hospital as a result of their injuries, which included a broken wrist.
All three defendants have previous convictions in New Zealand. Representing the three men, Sterling Harcus stressed that the attack had not been a planned group attack, and that the three men had arrived at the bar separately.
Mr Harcus pointed out that the defendants’ previous convictions notwithstanding, the defendants had sought to pursue gainful employment and had been deemed suitably qualified and able to work on a fishing vessel.
Justices of the Peace found that the matter was aggravated by the serious injury and was likely to attract a sentence beyond the Summary Court’s sentencing powers.
The matter was therefore committed to the Magistrate’s Court for sentencing.
The three men were denied bail on account of the unprovoked nature of the incident and the perceived risk of re offending. They are set to appear at the Magistrate’s Court at 10am on July 27 for sentencing
Sanford apologizes to the community
The owners of Sanford Limited published an open letter in the Penguin News to the Falklands' community, apologizing to all who were impacted by the actions of three crewmen on the night of Monday, 29th June at Deano’s Bar.
We want to say sorry to all who were harmed and apologize for the distress and pain caused in the wider community. Sanford has a long history of visiting the Falkland Islands and we are grateful to have strong relationships with many of you.
We are taking immediate action to make things as right as possible and to prevent such an incident from ever happening again.
The incident does not reflect Sanford and its values or those of the vast majority of our people.
While we extend our sincerest apologies, we do not believe that simply saying sorry is good enough to move on from this painful and embarrassing situation. We will do better. Our team in New Zealand is already working on identifying meaningful steps that will support your community.
Thank you for the understanding and kindness so many of you have shown us over the last week.
The letter is signed by Volker Kuntzsch, CEO, Sanford Limited
South Georgia deeply saddened”
Likewise the government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) said it was “deeply saddened” by the incident of June 29 involving three crew members from the San Aspiring.
The vessel has been licensed to fish for toothfish in South Georgia waters for a number of years.
South Georgia Toothfish licensing criteria require operators to undertake due diligence in relation to the recruitment of officers and crew and provide evidence of a commitment to safety beyond the confines of the vessel such as in relation to social responsibility.
In a statement released after the three individuals appeared at the Summary Court, GSGSSI expressed its concern for those who were injured and wished them a speedy recovery.
“The actions of these individuals are not representative of the high standards of personal and professional integrity expected from everyone who participates in our fishery,” said the statement. (Penguin News)
This article has been edited in order to provide useful information.