The information presented to the prosecution by police officers put the prosecution in “a state of disarray” during a drug possession trial at the Serious Offences Court on Monday.
“Stand down,” Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias, told the accused, Evelyn Moore and her 31-year-old son, Kamal Moore, both of Ottley Hall.
“You are in a state of disarray over there,” the magistrate said to the prosecution as a prosecutor was presenting the facts in the case.
“Serious case of disarray,” Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche told his assistant.
The development arose as the prosecutor’s assistant presented the facts in the case in which the Moores were charged separately with two counts of marijuana possession.
At the time, only Mr. Moore had been arraigned, but the fact referred also to his mother.
The Magistrate called Ms Moore and put the charge to her, and she also pleaded guilty.
However, when they facts were presented, they were presented as if the two accused were charged jointly.
She then ordered the accused to stand down to allow the prosecution to get its house in order.
Delplesche commented to his assistant: “If you are charged jointly, you have to have facts jointly. If you are charged separately, you have to have facts separately — as the sun shines.”
The senior prosecutor, however, pointed out that the errors were the fault of the police officers, and advised one of the two arresting officers how such a case is to be presented to the court.
He then made an application for the accused to be charged jointly and the facts presented as such.
Delplesche, a former police inspector, has often lamented in court what he says is the lack of guidance given to junior and inexperienced officers about how charges are to be handled and presented to the court.
After the amendment, the court heard the facts in the case.
The Moores accepted the facts and Delplesche withdrew the charge against Ms Moore.
Mr Moore was fined EC$400 for possession of 199 grammes of marijuana and EC$250 for possession of 99 grammes of marijuana.