A point that senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett made on Monday about the prosecutorial procedure being unfair to defendants was illustrated again two days later.

On Wednesday at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, the prosecution withdrew a charge against a man who had come to court for trial on a traffic offence ten times.

Prosecutor Wendell Corridon told the court that the prosecution had failed in repeated attempts to get witnesses to come to court.

“I put myself in his position to be brought to court 10 times only to be told there is no case for him to answer,” Burnett said after telling the accused man that he was free to go.

“Sometimes, it is good to change roles; be the civilian and the van driver and not just the police officer,” the magistrate then told the police officer.

On Monday, Burnett expressed concern about the movement of cases through the criminal justice system.

Burnett, sitting at the Kingstown Magistrate Court, noted that an accused person might appear before him several times before a trial could get underway, and even as police investigations are yet to be completed.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Not only had the adjudicator positioned himself in the place of the defendant,
    but was aware of the maxim ‘…Justice delayed is justice denied.’ Commendable.

    Apart from offences arising from ‘Traffic Accidents; where witnesses-
    passengers/eyewitnesses comprised the prosecution witnesses,
    in other instances,the witnesses are ‘…police officers.’

    Not sure who were those witnesses, but police officers have a duty to attend Court.

    Application for ‘…Bench Warrants’ is available to the prosecution.

    Police officers who without reasonable excuses, shall be treated just as
    civilian witnesses were known to have been treated.

  2. In the first place, how did the number of adjournments even reach 10?

    This is totally ridiculous and I hope that the other Magistrates follow suit.

    The entire “prosecutorial procedures” need revamping.

  3. The Court should charge the police and prosecution service cost’s based on how many times they fail to provide evidence or witness’s.

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