“When an incident happens in Barbados – any incident – we knowingly look to the status of the people involved and can usually predict the outcome. Is the victim a nobody, elderly, poor or especially a woman – and the other person one of the elites? We all say… tough luck sweetheart – you haven’t a chance of seeing justice!” … from the BFP article Roy Morris & Nation News Train Wreck Continues
Secret Trials & Court Appearances, Dropped Charges, Bribes And Backroom Deals
Have you ever noticed how many court cases just disappear from the public record in Barbados – especially when the upper classes or public figures are involved?
Sometimes certain cases are remanded forever until the public memory fades. During that time the victim is paid some money, or perhaps finds that an employer suddenly offers an excellent job right out of the blue. Other times when the police or prosecutors have made mistakes or been heavy-handed, the charges are quietly dropped – but for some strange reason the victim keeps silent and does not sue the police even when all reason says they should handily win in any fair court.
There are two levels of accused in our justice system – those who can afford to pay off the victims and those who cannot.
We all know how it is ’bout here.
Of course, this “disappearing” of court cases can’t take place without the cooperation of the “professional” Barbados media like the Nation News, the CBC and the rest.
Hopefully the new DLP government will return the rule of law and the concept of “justice must be seen to be done” to place of importance that these two concepts should enjoy.
Whether there is any hope that the cowardly lapdog Barbados news media will find its cajones… who knows?
Meanwhile folks, let’s test our memories …
How many important court cases can you name that were in the public eye and then disappeared – or simply never made it into the Barbados media?
Here are a few of the disappearing court cases of Barbados
Mark Winston Goodridge
Way back in October of 2006, lawyer Mark Winston Goodridge and his son Simon Mark Goodridge were jointly charged with causing serious bodily harm to a dark-skinned 15 year-old teen. Father Goodridge was also charged with incitement to racial hatred, assault and discharging a firearm within 100 yards of the highway.
Pretty serious charges on this little rock.
The island was all abuzz over the incident which had racial overtones because of the charges and the players. The Goodridges were more/less white, while the teen was more/less black.
What happened at trial? Was there a trial… or just a backroom deal?
What… you think that’s the public’s business? After reporting the incident daily for a week in a series of stories, the Nation News disappeared all mention of the case. The paper’s last article was published on October 19, 2006 just a few days after the charges were laid.
Roy Morris Rape Charge
Back on Tuesday, August 14, 2007, veteran journalist Roy Morris was charged with rape by the Royal Barbados Police Force. He was released on bail after appearing in court.
As BFP detailed in a series of articles, Morris had been on the run from the police while wanted for the alleged rape of a young 16 year old woman who may have been an intern at The Nation News.
Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground broke the story over a month before Morris surrendered to police.
What happened to the case?
The last article about the case was published by the Nation News on August 15, 2007 – the day after Morris’ arrest. We heard that the case was adjourned to November 1, 2007 and then sometime in January, 2008… but the media has not said anything about it since August 15th of 2007.
Was there a deal? Will there be a trial?
Reporters Roughed Up, Arrested & Charged
On Friday, May 25, 2007, CBC Reporter Jimmy Gittens was roughed up and arrested by officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force as Gittens was covering auto accident victims at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Police thugs thumped two other journalists but didn’t charge them. Cameras were broken.
The police charged the newsman and he was released on bail after appearing in court. There was general outrage in the journalistic community and Gittens’ lawyer said that a civil suit would be filed against the police.
So what happened? Who knows!
The last the Nation News mentioned the case was on July 16, 2007 when the paper showed a photo of Jimmy Gitten’s shaking hands with the Police Commissioner at an awards ceremony while still out on bail.
Shhhhhh! Its another case of disappearing criminal charges… if the police won’t say anything, neither will the victim!
Ronja Juman – Corruption By Director Of Public Prosectutions Charles Leacock
In the early hours Tuesday, December 19, 2006 officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force descended like a gang of wild thugs upon the sleeping family of Mrs. Ronja Juman.
Her offense was not having paid back-rent to her landlord – who happens to be Charles Leacock, Queens Counsel, and the Director of Public Prosecutions.. One of the most powerful men on the island, Mr. Leacock arranged to have officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force collect his back rent from Mrs. Juman – in particular a corrupt police officer named Sgt. Paul Vaughan.
The police used a blank, pre-signed search warrant to come in the middle of the night and dragged Ms. Juman off to the police station where her vagina was searched – for the purpose of terrorizing her into paying the back rent to the DPP. When she couldn’t pay, she was charged with a trumped up criminal offense.
Despite the fact that BFP has posted many of the legal documents that prove what happened, the Nation News and the other Barbados media haven’t mentioned the case!
I’m getting a wee bit tired at work tonight (coming up to 3am… I hate night shift) so I’ll throw in the titles and references for a few more stories that have “disappeared” from the radar. I’ll flesh out further details tomorrow…
Chief Justice David Simmons, Prime Minister David Thompson, Former PM Owen Arthur facing charges of land fraud in a Canadian civil court.
Stefan Griffith Shot In Back of Head By Police
Geoffrey Knights, the violent boyfriend of British television actress Gillian Taylforth Knights was arrested for assaulting a female desk clerk at the Tamarind Cove Hotel