Anyone being rude or disrespectful to staff at the Truro Justice Centre may well expect to be called up before the sitting judge.
“I’m going to be very clear with you …, ” Judge Al Bégin said, to a woman he had instructed to stand before him on Wednesday.
“I will not tolerate you abusing any of the staff or any of the sheriffs in this courthouse. Is that understood?” he said, to the woman who had appeared in court on unrelated criminal harassment and breach of recognizance charges.
Bégin’s comments were in reference to an encounter the woman had with deputy sheriff Monique Drummond, who is African Nova Scotian, the previous week inside the courthouse. During the confrontation with Drummond, the woman had allegedly used vulgar and racist statements against her.
“What you did and said last week to Ms. Drumond is so far over the line I can’t even get over it,” Bégin continued. “You owe her an apology. I am not going to enforce it. But what you did was disgusting and inappropriate and incredibly racist. You go out and sit in the hall and we’ll deal with you later.
“I just want you to know, now, how I feel about it, alright. Now step out,” he said, as the sullen and red-faced woman turned to leave the courtroom.