UG student charged for sending bomb threat, walks free

Sheneza Diane Jaffarally

University of Guyana student, Sheneza Diane Jaffarally, who was last year charged for making several bomb threats to the tertiary education institution, was today freed of the charge after a no-case submission was upheld by Magistrate Ruschelle Liverpool.

The 26-year-old woman was on trial at the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Courts. She had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge which stated that on February 5, 2019, at Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara, she sent, by means of a public telecommunication system, for the purpose of causing needless anxiety to the staff and students of the University of Guyana, a message which she knows to be false.

Today at the conclusion of the trial, the Magistrate ruled that the prosecution which called a total of nine witnesses was unable to prove the elements of the offence. In this regard, the Magistrate upheld a no-case submission made by her lawyer, Latchmie Rahamat. Accordingly, the Magistrate dismissed the case.

During an interview with this publication, Rahamat explained that the prosecution failed to lead evidence to support the particulars of the charge.

She said that the prosecution led no evidence to show that her client sent any message using a public telecommunication system, and that she sent any message to cause public anxiety. The lawyer further added that the prosecution led no evidence to disclose the contents of the message for the court to consider whether it caused public anxiety. According to Rahamat, the prosecution led no evidence, as prescribed in the Telecommunications Act, to show that a public telecommunication system was used to send the message.

Jaffarally in an interview stated, “It has caused me great psychological trauma. I have not been able to attend school as yet. And that is not because I am not allowed to attend, but because I am so afraid because of the situation I was put in.” The woman further went on to say, “have been going to therapy for the past year. I don’t think another person should have to go through something like this because of negligence, because of people [the Police] not investigating properly.”

Jaffarally was charged on February 11, 2019, after she appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. On her first appearance, she was remanded to prison over public safety but was later granted $10,000 High Court bail.

It was alleged that the woman, on the day in question, made several calls to the tertiary institution, making bomb threats and causing classes to be called off. The threat also resulted in the institution ramping up security. The threat followed others made against the School of the Nations, Queens College, and The Bishops’ High School and Mae’s School.