The prosecutor at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday apologised to a man against whom a bench warrant was wrongfully executed.
Last week, Matthew Charles was brought before the court two days after he had appeared before Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, who had adjourned his matter to Feb. 18, 2019.
The man was again brought to court and placed on the prisoners’ bench — the seating reserved for persons serving sentences, waiting to be arraigned, have failed to secure bail, or who had been remanded into custody.
When Charles’ name was called, Burnett inquired about why the man was before the court.
“Why is he before me? The list, note I have here is [that the matter is] adjourned to Feb. 18,” the magistrate said.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Renwick Cato, after some inquiry, indicated that the man had been brought on a bench warrant.
Cato further told the court that he had come to realise that Charles had appeared before the court two days earlier and the matter had been adjourned.
“Someone has to apologise to him,” the magistrate told the prosecutor.
Cato then said:
“Mr. Matthew Charles, on behalf of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Commissioner of Police, I humbly apologise for you being detained this morning on a bench warrant. I seriously and sincerely apologise.”
Commenting further on the development, the magistrate said: “Yeah. We have to do better than this.”