A Vincentian man on an assault charge has fled the jurisdiction and joined the British Army, his mother and surety told the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Edinboro man Raphael Dennie, said to be in his 20s, was granted EC$1,500 bail with one surety when he appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Sept. 20, 2018, charged that one day earlier he assaulted Lloyd Dennie of Edinboro, causing actual bodily harm.
His mother, who had stood surety for him, appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, saying her son left St. Vincent in April and has enrolled in the British Army.
“How is that possible?” Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett asked.
Prosecutor Corlene Samuel said that the accused man should have made an attempt to contact the court and ask that the trial be brought forward.
“It is shocking to me that a young man is seeking employment — that’s a good thing — but he is aware that he had a particular matter in the court and he would just post his papers and just decide to leave,” the magistrate said.
The mother told the court that she had received summons to attend court because she stood as surety for her son.
The woman said she was aware that her son was going away and that he had a matter pending before the court.
“So, that is not of concern you? Or you were more concerned that he is going to seek employment outside of St. Vincent?”
At this point, the complainant arrived, and the magistrate called him to take the stand.
He told the court that he, too, had learned that the defendant had left St. Vincent and the Grenadines and joined the British Army.
He said he felt “bad about it” because he wanted the case to be heard.
He said that he and the accused man are not related although they have the same surname.
The prosecutor said that Dennie’s mother was responsible for him, as his surety, and should have informed him of the implication of enrolling in the British Army when the matter was still pending.
The magistrate said: “Because I am sure if his new employer is aware of this, they are not going to be happy at all that this is a man that is suitable to work in the army. You all have to consider these things when you are making these types of decisions.”
At this point, the woman said her son was called to join the army before the date of the trial.
The magistrate said that in that case, she should have spoken to someone, saying that the case was hanging over his head.
He pointed out that, on Monday, he had a case where the defendant wanted to go to Tobago to work and the defendant contacted the office and appeared before the court, asking for an earlier trial date.
“That’s how things are done,” the magistrate said, adding that while he would not want to deny the new army recruit employment, he has a matter in the court.
“The complainant is there, he is quite aggrieved,” Burnett said.
He told the accused man’s mother that because she bailed him, he can call on her to pay EC$1,500.
“But that would not mean that the matter would come to an end,” Burnett said.
He asked the prosecutor what is her thinking on the matter, and she said she believes that a warrant should be issued for the accused man.
Samuel further said that the court should check with immigration authorities to verify the woman’s statements.
Burnett observed that the matter is a serious one.
“It is not about his employment only,” he said.
Burnett, however, noted that the matter might have arisen because the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court did not sit for the first five months of the year.
No magistrate was appointed to fill in for Burnett while he acted as a master of the Court of Appeal for five months.
He said that if the court was sitting, the accused man might have been in St. Vincent, because the matter has been adjourned to January 2019.
“I mean, when persons are making decisions, they have to consider all these things,” Burnett said.
Asked what applications she was making, Samuel said that even though the court was not sitting, the defendant knew that the matter was pending.
“He is not here. His mother can give a time to say when he would be back,” the prosecutor said.
However, the magistrate noted that the man had gone to England to work.
At this point, the man’s mother began to smile.
“Madam, don’t smile too much because if we want him back, he has to come back. If the state wants him to come back to St. Vincent, we can get him back,” the magistrate said.
The magistrate adjourned the matter to June 25, 2019, saying that on that date the prosecution will tell him how they plan to proceed.
To the accused man’s mother, he said:
“Madam, I’ve said enough for you to start to think about certain things. And talk to your son. Tell him how disappointed I am that this happened.”
Burnett also ordered the woman to return to court on June 25.
ROUNDABOUT TALKING – WAY TO GO
Those that understand Court procedures, would know that such ‘…Long Talking’ and achieving nothing appeared unnecessary.
The surety, his mother has an obligation to ensure that he attend Court on ‘…a fixed date..’
There was obviously none as there was ‘…no sitting of the Court for some 5 months,’ a fact commendably accepted by Magistrate Ricky Burnett.
This inordinate delay provided an opportunity to the accused to ‘abscond.’
The Surety is still open to forfeiture of the sum of money she had bonded herself to pay if he accused did not appear before the Court
If forfeiture so considered and so ordered, the Surety pays and ‘ONLY’ her obligation ends.
The case against the accused remains pending before the Court.
He also, if subsequently appear, he also faces the same fate as his ‘…Surety/mother.’
He also risked being denied further bail and most certainly will be remanded to where he could be taken from when needed to attend Court. That simple and that serious.
The prosecutor and not the Magistrate appeared reckless not to know that when an accused absconded from a jurisdiction to become a ‘…Fugitive from Justice,’ this becomes the responsibility of another agency of the State. In this case the police.
They shall know that among the ways to have him return is either for the authorities in that jurisdiction to cause him to ‘…voluntarily depart or cause his deportation.’
The formal way, however, is to make a ‘…Request through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ that would ensure that the necessary formalities are completed to facilitate ‘…Extradition Proceedings’ in the requested country.
Long and difficult yes, but if justice is to serve, and the ‘…victim of the crime’ is to feel satisfied, then that is the ‘…Way To Go.’
The system is slack.
Who knows if he is using another name.
There must be a reason why his mother is smiling. Check out the politricks that goes on in SVG.
Too many gaps in the system. Why were stop orders not made for this defendant?
Magistrate Burnette now has to restart his clean up campaign smh….
The system is indeed slack…but not for the reason you might think.
The slackness lies in how such a matter has gotten to the court and how the reporter wrote the story that is destructive to Raphael.
The reporter in this case relied on the court record to write a story that defames Raphael Dennie. The headline says he absconded from facing the assaullt charge and in the first sentence the writer says that Raphael “fled” the jurisdiction.
But if you check the dictionary definition of abscond none of this is true. To abscond is to leave hurriedly and secretly to avoid arrest or detection for an unlawful action. But Raphael did not do that. Instead, Raphael twice appeared in court to answer the charges and both times the hearings were postponed. And as the magistrate himself admits, the Court itself went dark for 5 months without having any hearing on any matter. The Court therefore did not give a date for the third hearing on the case until Raphael had already left St. Vincent to meet a time table set by the British Army.
To write that Raphael fled the jurisdiction of the Court harms Rapheal by attributing to him an intentional defiance of the Court at the time he left St. Vincent even though the Court itself had given no order to Raphael to which he was lawfully bound to comply. And note again, the Court itself admits that for five months it held no sitting whatsoever.
The second half of the headline is correct: Raphael is seeking employmnent with the British army. But apparently the reporter does not know that the police needed to give Raphael a clean bill of health for him to seek employment with the British army. So Raphael did not leave secretly. He left with the full knowledge and support of the St. Vincent police.
Here’s also something you need to know and the reporter did not. Nor did the Court. Lloyd Dennie lied to the Court. And he did so under oath. I am assuming here that the reporter is correct in telling us that Lloyd Dennie told the Court that he is not related to Raphael Dennie. That is an absolute lie. First, all Dennies in St. Vincent are relatives. But second, LLoyd’s mother, Veronica Dennie is the sister of Yvette Dennie, Raphael’s grandmother. And all of these Dennies have been living on the same piece of land in Edinboro for more than 50 years. LLoyd is 53-54. He has lived on that land all of his life. Raphael graduated from Emmanuelle High School last year. He has also lived on that land all of his young life.
Lloyd and Raphael are close relatives and he lied about it. If this case is heard the court will also hear all the other lies of LLoyd including the false claim of assault. It is a pity that this story was told in the manner it was because it assumed LLoyd was telling the truth and it assumed Raphael fled from justice.
I am confident that either the DPP will withdraw this case or the the Court will dismiss it. And I hope that Lloyd is prosecuted for lying under oath.
I also hope that the reporter can be more restrained in attributing criminal intent to any person without absolute proof of such. I do not expect an apology for such a dreadful story.
And let me declare: I have known Lloyd Dennie and Raphael Dennie for all of their lives and have lived in Edinboro for a good chunk of mine.
I like how you have spoken the truth about the Dennie’s because at one point when am reading the story a asking myself if they aren’t related. But all I want to say is, yes we all have make mistake in our young life, and wish we can correct them at some point. But the young man didn’t run off, there was no court hearing for 5 months and he get a better opportunity to better his life, which if that had happen to me I would have done the same. So I think Mr Lloyd Deenie should talk the truth and just let them drop the case. I feel sad about this because as family members they can settle this incident by themselves.
There are always three sides to a story: side 1, side 2 and the TRUTH.
Your side favors the defendant obviously but we do not know if its true. If this matter is tried before the court and your utterances are found to be fact, dont expect a retraction or apology from the writer of this article who is all about sensationalism, whether it be true or not.
His response will be that this is what was said in court and he simply reported same. I wonder where I would be as a lawyer, if I took ONLY what clients told me at face value? #rhetoricalquestion
Why should any news outlet apologize for reporting accurately on a court proceeding? It is the duty of the court, not the media, to determine what are the facts of the matter.
Tobe honest no one is tobe blaim here other than his mother, she should have known that she have $1500.00 tobe paid and should not of allowed her son to leave even thou she thought that the case would end if she pays the $1500.00 because I myself thought it would however, I understand where the magistrate is coming from adding to that Lloyd Dennie is my very good friend and I wish he see this post that I am making for the first time here, I would love for you to forgive the man for beating you badly I know how you felt and its wrong for someone to think that they can take advantage of us but for the simple fact that one day we all need forgiveness for God and I am of the belief that he would forgive us all for our sins so please my friend if you are seeing this I am asking you to forgive him and drop the case, its very hard to live a life without a JOB, I have been in that position and you are as well if you see this and still decide to go forward with the case that is your choice I won’t judge you but at least try to understand and forgive him, taking him out of a jod or sending him prison is not a good sign my friend, I am sure that the magistrate is not making him return home to compensate you for the damage he cause you? I strongly believe that, If there is a way that the system can allow her to compensate you rather than taking him away for the oppotunity of gaining employment and probably sending him to prison, if you decide to forgive him for his actions you need to leave that place we all call home cause we both know that its not safe to live there.
This guy would get seriously dealt with. The military have to do a security clearance to make sure you have no criminal records. Once the military find out he has a criminal record they will discharge him. People need to think before they act.
He has no criminal record. He appeared before the Court TWICE to asnwer the case that got TWICE ADJOURNED. He left before the Court which was on recess for FIVE MONTHS had ordered a new date. The case is once more adjourned.
As to the SIte Administrator, I quiblle with your constriction of your responsibilities to finding out the truth of the stories you publish. I agree with you that the reporter could accurately report what played out in court and the reporting can end there. But there is nothing in journalism that says the journalist cannot seek more context to the stiry than what plays out in the Court.
In this instance you could have easily estabalished that Lloyd Dennie lied in one thing – that he is not a family member. And that would have allowed you to at lest consider a standard legal maxim: “if a defendant lies in one thing, you can disbelieve him in everything.”
Lloyd Dennie destroyed his credibility with that one lie. And you retain the capacity to determine that in this one thing, LLoyd Dennie is indeed a liar.
Simply send a reporter to top Edinboro where we live and you can confirm that Lloyd and Raphael are cousins, that Lloyd is a 53 year old man and Raphael has just completed high school
The man war make ah dollar for big up he self and he family alyuh need for stop hold down the youths them when unno done say the youths them don’t want work when alyuh chest we as ghetto youths like dogs hold the faith me breddaw your mother is ah strong black woman
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