Tag Archives: Barbados Courts

Magistrate Douglas Frederick too weak, too timid to take on disrespectful police officers.

Barbados Magistrate Frederick Douglas

Accused waiting five and a half years for trial – Barbados Police don’t show for latest court date.

Magistrate Douglas Frederick lets them get away with it again.

Where was Sergeant Catwell?

The charges against the accused are serious. On January 20, 2010, police arrested Michael James Springer for having an illegal gun and ammunition.

Now, five and a half years later, our justice system is just getting to the preliminary hearing but the two main police witnesses didn’t bother to show up for court date known months in advance. One witness, Sergeant Catwell, was on holiday and, according to Station Sergeant Neville Watson, couldn’t be found. The other witness, Sergeant Leslie, was on a training course and so couldn’t attend at court.

Let’s just think about that for a minute, shall we?

Sergeant Catwell knew many months ago that the case was coming to court on July 8, 2015, but he went away on holiday anyway and “efforts to locate him had proven futile.”

Really? On this tiny rock, none of Catwell’s fellow police know where he is? Nobody knows his mobile phone number? Nobody left a message? Nobody knows his email address?

And what training could be so important as to cause a police witness to ignore the court? Sergeant Leslie couldn’t take a morning off his so very important training course to testify?

Obviously the two involved police officers do not respect the courts, the judicial process or their duty to Barbados.

Time for the learned judge to start issuing arrest warrants for police officers who thumb their noses at the court and the law.

Magistrate Douglas Frederick’s statement that it was “unfortunate that Leslie was away on training and was in High Court on the last occasion” is a capitulation to police disrespect of the courts. Magistrate Frederick looks like he is too weak, timid and fearful to uphold the law. Just a few days ago BFP reported in another trial Magistrate Douglas tossed a drug trafficking case when the police witnesses didn’t show up… but Frederick let the police turn their backs on the courts and never held them to account for failing to show.

And he just did it again…

No one-sided justice, attorney tells Magistrate

Terming it “totally ridiculous,” attorney-at-law Vonda Pile asked today that a matter involving her client be dismissed.

Michael James Springer faces charges of having a gun and ammunition on January 20, 2010. The 29-year-old lives at Headley’s Land, Deacons Road, St Michael.

When the preliminary hearing began yesterday, Station Sergeant Neville Watson told the court of the unavailability of the two police witnesses.   Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Police

Witness fails to appear in court – accused set free, absent witness faces no penalty…. Welcome to Barbados!

Nothing to do with this case... just an illustration of reality when the police make witnesses' names known!

Nothing to do with this case… just an illustration of reality when the police make witnesses’ names known!

Intimidating a witness is standard operating procedure in Barbados.

Five years for a marijuana case to come to trial in Barbados!!!

The Court should have issued a warrant for the arrest of the witness and dug into the “why” behind the witness failing to show. This happens time and time again and undermines everything from the police to the court.

Magistrate Douglas Frederick dismissed a 2010 case in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today, after a police witness who was supposed to testify was absent from court.

Hezron Joseph Williams, who was previously charged with possession, trafficking and intent to supply marijuana in October 2010, was therefore free to go.

Williams, 27, resides at Hutson Alley, Reed Street, The City.

When the case came up for hearing in the morning, Station Sergeant Neville Watson said he expected the witness to be at court by midday.

When it was called again in the afternoon and the prosecutor was questioned by the Magistrate, he said he still had not heard from the witness.

Magistrate Frederick determined that “unless he (the witness) has a reasonable excuse or some type of emergency, the case would have to be viewed differently”.

He therefore dismissed the matter.

Disgusting!

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Police

Barbados Government ignores another court order to pay.

Court Justice Scales

Shanique Myrie, Al Barrack and now George Edghill – each owed money by the Government of Barbados and each ignored for months or years, nevermind having a court order.

The government says they paid Myrie last Friday after ignoring her for nine months. Maybe they did pay her, probably did, but it was only because of the public pressure. The government does what it wants to when it wants to and says ‘piss on the court.’

Are there any others out there who have an unpaid judgment against the Government of Barbados?

Let’s hear about it!

Nation News: George Edghill “Pay me too”

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Barbados ignores court orders to pay Shanique Myrie, Al Barrack

Al Barrack reduced to this to try and have the government obey the court.

Al Barrack reduced to this to try and have the government obey the court.

What if you sue the Government of Barbados and the court orders Barbados to pay you? What then?

For contractor Al Barrack, it has been eight years since the court ordered the Government to pay up $34 million. The government’s response was to thumb its nose at the court and attempt to destroy Al Barrack as his world crumbled around him. And that’s what they have been doing to Al Barrack since 2006.

And why shouldn’t the government thumb its nose at the court? Everybody on this rock knows how cosy things are between the political elites and the courts. If a judge isn’t married or cousin to a political elite, it’s a surprise ’bout hey. Even our last Chief Justice was himself a politician. In small island nations you can’t get away from this incest. It’s just the way things are.

But once the court orders payment, you’d figure there would be compliance, right? Ha! What do you know?

The government is broke – so payment of court settlements and orders are no priority at all. If the government doesn’t just do what it wants and send in the military, it will ignore you like Shanique Myrie, Al Barrack and others who usually fade away and give up.

Shanique Myrie though is high profile and poisoning Jamaican-Bajan relations so she’ll probably be paid. The AG says Miss Myrie will be paid this week, but Myrie probably won’t believe him until the money is actually in her bank account.

And Al Barrack? The government says it will pay him next month. Wuhloss! That’s the same thing PM Stuart said two years ago!

Sure, sure: Barrack will be paid. And the tooth fairy is real.

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law

Murder assassination of Special Prosecutor Dana Seetahal terrible – but no surprise

Dana Seetahal murdered

Dana Seetahal murdered Sunday May 4, 2014

Courts and legal disputes are dangerous business in the Caribbean

submitted by Gary M. Further editing by Robert.

Folks who have lived all their lives in the UK or the USA do not understand what it means to be involved in a legal dispute or criminal trial in any Caribbean, Central or South American country. The reality is this: involvement with the courts can be dangerous business. Even minor disputes can produce threats, beatings or worse. That is generally not the way it is in the USA and UK, but in small island nations it is not unheard of for legal arguments to be put forward through cricket bats or Molotov cocktails in the dark of night.

And just because a person is in a legal dispute with the government is no guarantee of safety. Some say with good reason Sue de guvment. Trouble for you!

Where does this disrespect for law and the courts come from in the Caribbean?   
Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Police, Trinidad and Tobago

Anna Druzhinina murder: Persaud appealing sentence, Barbados Court stonewalls journalist

Zero Transparency or Accountability from Barbados courts…

One is not permitted to take notes or record in courts in Barbados, even public criminal proceedings. The press is gagged until after the trial is over. Then one cannot get any transcripts of the proceedings, motions, and findings.

Over a year later and I am still waiting on the High Court’s registrar’s office to provide me with DPP Leacock’s recommendations for sentencing of the two murderers of Anna Druzhinina, one in 2010 and one in 2012. They got manslaughter for hanging her.

So what is the definition of transparency?

Amy L. Beam, journalist and BFP contributor

Below article originally published on February 13, 2013…

Barbados Free Press

Anna Druzhinina Murder

Censorship and a Travesty of Justice

By Amy L. Beam, Ed.D

As of today, I have waited over one month for the chief registrar in the court’s registrar’s office to provide me with the written statements of DPP Leacock in the sentencing recommendations for McCollin (2010) and Persaud (2012). In common parlance, this is known as stone-walling. Silence does not mean I’m finished with this issue.

Also, I was told at the court house that Persaud is appealing his sentencing.

So Barbados is a country with complete judicial secrecy. In the courtroom I was not allowed to have paper, pen, or recording devices. Now I have been refused ALL documents relating to both of the convicted men.

“The case is over, the verdicts and sentencing have been rendered, yet the documents are being kept secret. Does Barbados seal documents after a murder or manslaughter trial? Is the international community taking…

View original post 67 more words

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Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of Information, Freedom Of The Press

Queen’s Counsel apologizes to High Court Justice, but…

Justice Delayed Barbados

The unnamed lawyer in our original story has been named as Alair Shepherd, Queen’s Counsel. Mr. Shepherd has apologized to High Court Justice Dr Sonia Richards, but the full story in the Nation tells the all-too-familiar tale of a broken court system where the focus is on process, not on results or justice.

Mr. Shepherd should not have done what he did, but in a court system where civil cases often take 15 or 20 years to reach trial we can expect to see the rivets starting to pop as the pressure builds on the boiler call the Barbados Courts. (By the way, why is Chief Justice Gibson in South Africa? Shouldn’t he be staying at home and trying to clean up this mess?)

Here’s the article from the Nation. Please read it at their website here, but unfortunately we have to print it all here because if we don’t, they will change the story as it suits the changing politics.

Sorry!

Queen’s Counsel Alair Shepherd – the man at the centre of the outburst involving High Court Justice Dr Sonia Richards last week – has confirmed that he apologized to her, but said the incident was a result of his frustration over the administration of justice.

In an interview with the DAILY NATION yesterday, Shepherd said his behaviour before the judge should not detract from the real issue, which was the continuing delay of an extremely important case touching on the ability of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) to discharge its duties.

Last Monday, Shepherd had an outburst before the judge. He then backed Justice Richards, raised his robe and bent over. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Ethics