Barbados news media cooperates in the cover-up
by Holetown Brawler
The Court of Appeal is trying to suck and blow at the same time and with the help of the Barbados news media all they have done so far is to confuse the public, the police and the criminals.
Damien Omar Cummins bit a police officer and ripped off his shirt. For that he was sentenced to nine months in jail. Bite a police officer, go straight to jail. Fine. Everybody knows dats da rules!
But then the Court of Appeal quashed Cummins’ jail sentence – and then tried to say that wounding a police officer is serious business and people who do that can “generally” expect to go to jail.
“We consider a non-custodial sentence appropriate in the special circumstances of the case based on the information disclosed to this Court on the offences and the offender.” said the Court of Appeal.
That’s not good enough. Not by half.
Bajans deserve the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth. It is not enough for the Court of Appeal or the news media to gloss over this story.
It’s not good enough for the public – who rightfully wonder what happened. It’s not good enough for the police officers – who rightfully wonder what made the court decide that this wounding of a police officer was ‘okay’. It’s not good enough for the criminals who are wondering if the rules have changed and the Barbados courts have gone soft on harming a police officer.
Is this a cover-up of bad police behaviour? Is it a cover-up of mistakes made by the DPP? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MAKE IT “SPECIAL”?
The public, the police and the thugs on the block may agree that the Court of Appeal’s position is proper justice: but they can’t be kept in the dark by the court and the news media who say “Trust us.”
That “Trust us” business doesn’t fly anymore.
Bajans want to know, and deserve to know: What were the “special circumstances” that made it okay for Damien Omar Cummins to bite a police officer and not go to jail?
BFP, May 19, 2012: Barbados Appeal Court: No jail time for wounding a police officer
PEOPLE who inflict physical violence on police officers, public officials and other people in authority during the execution of their duties can “generally” expect a custodial sentence from the court.
This warning was recently issued by the Court of Appeal while handing down a decision on an appeal by a 27-year-old man against the nine months’ prison sentence he received for biting a police officer.
Based on the merits of the case, the Justices of Appeal, who included Acting Chief Justice Peter Williams, Sherman Moore, and Andrew Burgess, quashed the nine-month sentence of imprisonment which was imposed on Damien Omar Cummins, for unlawfully and maliciously wounding Police Constable Kirvin Roach, but they sent out the stern warning to other would be offenders.
“We consider a non-custodial sentence appropriate in the special circumstances of the case based on the information disclosed to this Court on the offences and the offender.