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Obeah accusation sparks vendors’ brawl

Two female vendors who reportedly got into a fight in which one accused the other of being involved in obeah, have been ordered by the St James Parish Court to attend restorative justice sessions to settle their quarrel.

Merlene Ricketts, who is charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, and the complainant got the order from presiding Judge Sasha-Marie Ashley when they both appeared before the court on Wednesday.

According to the allegations, on May 27 at 3:30 p.m., the complainant was standing along the main road near her vending space in Montego Bay, when Ricketts flung a glass bottle at her and hit her on her body.

The police were called, and under caution Ricketts reportedly said, "Mi say to her say mi see her inna obeahman shop a buy oil and candle," following which she was arrested and charged.

During Wednesday's proceedings, Judge Ashley asked the two women whether they would be minded to attend mediation sessions together; both parties answered yes.

However, there was no available mediation specialist to attend to the case.

Judge Ashley then advised the women to attend the local Restorative Justice Unit office to have their dispute mediated there, ahead of the case's next mention on September 12.