12 August, 2008


Trouble in Paradise. Penny Legg keeps a blog. She is the wife of the Governor's Staff Officer on Anguilla. She is an accomplished journalist and author. She published an article on her blog recently about the likely consequences of a Minister of Government in Anguilla brandishing an unlicensed gun at a civilian in the village of Island Harbour. He has now pleaded guilty, been convicted and fined.

She has now apparently been obliged to remove the post from her Blog.

In my view, her comments are worth preserving. I do not believe the post should have been censored.

The former Director of FCO/OTD, Leigh Turner and the Minister Meg Munn appeared a few months ago before the Foreign Affairs Committee. Munn had been poorly briefed. Turner made a fool of himself regarding his shameful treatment of Governor Richard Tauwhare in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Soon thereafter, it became known that Turner was being transferred to a diplomatic posting in festive Lithuania. Many thought he had been given the boot, since they had not known of his pending transfer before the FAC hearing.

Mrs Legg claims she was not censored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She says she only deleted the post because it attracted spam and viruses. Then, she will not mind if I preserve and reproduce her post.

It was called “Trouble in Paradise”. This is what she wrote:

Thursday, 7 August 2008
Trouble in Paradise

It is being quietly whispered, very quietly, that a certain prominent individual; an Elected Representative, Land Owner and Entrepreneur in Island Harbour, pulled an unlicensed gun and discharged it when one of his employees, with his family, visited the individual's home and asked to be paid money owed to him. The response, allegedly, was to be told in no uncertain terms to leave and the gun being produced and fired. The family retired in good order and promptly complained to the police.

Allegedly the police took 4 days to respond to the complaint and the individual has been arrested, bailed and released. I have to wonder if an 'ordinary' person would have had four days grace before being arrested for such an offence. Or if he would be released back into the community, rather than languishing in jail whilst awaiting the next Magistrate's sitting after the August holiday.

Don Mitchell, retired high court judge, writes the Corruption Free Anguilla and seems to have some more detail on this story if you are interested in reading about it.

What I would say is this: An elected representative is a resident just like everyone else on Anguilla. He should be treated as the rest of us would be in such circumstances. He has allegedly broken several laws and, if this is true, should be prosecuted.

He is, allegedly, a dangerous armed man, who is not afraid to intimidate adults and children alike, with a firearm. I hope that the Governor and Chief Minister makes sure that the law is followed and this individual, if the allegations are true, is not given the opportunity to do this again. Next time it could be tragic....

As an elected representative this individual should be setting a moral high ground. There have been moves recently to amend legislation on gun crime. That this individual has been in a position to vote on these amendments, whilst allegedly knowingly breaking the law by holding an unlicensed firearm, is, if it true, at best hypocritical and at worst, an example of corruption in the Government. The Anguillian reported in June the amendment of Section 50 (a) of the Firearms Act. This provides for 'persons found in possession of illegal firearms and ammunition in Anguilla to be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of three years or to both.

It will be interesting to see just what happens in this case.

Posted by Penny Legg at 08:12


Anonymous said...
Thank you for your comments on this very sensitive issue. I understand your position and your constraints and why your writing has been so "Nat and Brenda" until now.

Thank you for caring about us here in Anguilla. Best wishes to you and Joe on your next posting.

An Anguillian

07 August 2008 20:06

Penny Legg said...
Oh to be able to write what I like! If only....

I love Anguilla and do care. Joe and I will miss the island.

08 August 2008 18:06


  1. The Leggs are leaving Anguilla this week. This is a long-scheduled transfer to Joe's next FCO posting.

    It may appear to some that their departure is related to Penny's speaking the truth in her blog. There is no such connection.

  2. So, censorship IS alive and well? In her case, due to her husband's position, a little discretion must be used to keep from embarrassing the laughable ensemble of gov't that includes a minister that doesn't abide by laws that he pushes along. No country is without corruption. 1 out of 5 leaders in any one country is scary and that's just the convicted one. - Scotty


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.