Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche, on Thursday, said that Commissioner of Police Renald Hadaway did nothing illegal when he displayed at a press conference in January guns and ammunition that were the subject of a police investigation.
“I will say upfront here, your honour, the press conference has no implication for this trial. Absolutely none,” Delplesche said in his closing submission in the case in which Lowmans Bay couple, Randy Shallow and Freikesha Douglas, are charged with possession of a number of firearms and ammunition.
“Why do I say that? These matters are being tried in a court of law. The press conference was not contrary to any law. The Commissioner didn’t break any law when he held the press conference,” Delplesche said.
He had declined to comment on the matter on Jan. 20 when defence counsel Grant Connell raised it during the arraignment of his clients.
“The issue of possession. When they go low, I go high,” Connell had said during the Jan. 20 court appearance.
“And I will remain silent,” Delplesche, a former inspector of police, had said.
Durign the arraignment, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias had also expressed concern about the matter of pre-trial publicity.
She however added that, “thankfully”, the matter would be dealt in the court, where she knows that the accused are innocent until proven guilty and that it is for the prosecution to prove their case and defence counsel to do their job.
But on Thursday, Delplesche further told the court that while Shallow had said that the police chief had used his cellular phone to take photos of the exhibits at police headquarters, there was nothing wrong with him doing so.
“Not a thing wrong with that. Not one thing wrong with that. You walk down the street, people take your picture, nothing is wrong with that,” Delplesche said.
“In a court of law, we deal with law, we deal with facts,” the prosecutor said.
During his closing submission, Connell said he agrees that there was nothing illegal about the actions of the police chief in holding the press conference.
Connell, however, raised issues about the chain of custody and suggested that it might have been broken at the press conference.
Hadaway testified in the trial and Connell noted that the police chief had given evidence about how certain things were handed over to him.
The defence counsel said that, unfortunately, he was unable, due to circumstances beyond his control, to make the court aware of certain things that would have highlighted what was on the commissioner’s desk during the press conference that were supposedly taken from the couple’s home.
The magistrate has reserved her decision in the matter until May 24.