For the second time in three years, a prison officer has found himself in trouble with the law.
On Thursday, Louie Cupid, who has 12 years’ experience as a prison officer, was charged in connection with accused murderer Veron Primus’ escape from Her Majesty’s Prison in Kingstown earlier this week.
A source familiar with the investigation confirmed that Cupid has been charged but did not disclose the exact charge(s) that he faces.
A senior member of the Public Service Union, the trade union that represents prison officers, also confirmed to iWitness News that Cupid had been charged.
The PSU source, however, has not verified the nature of the charges, but confirmed that police had released the three other prison officers whom they had detained since Tuesday, when Primus’ escape was discovered.
Cupid is expected to appear before the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown on Friday, where the charge(s) will be read to him.
On Nov. 3, 2016, Cupid appeared before the Serious Offences Court and pleaded not guilty to a charge that on Oct. 31, 2016 at Her Majesty’s Prisons in Kingstown, he brought or attempted to bring into Her Majesty’s Prison a prohibited item, to wit one Azumi cellular phone and its accessories comprising of a headphone, USB cord, adapter and one portable charger.
Cupid had been granted station bail before appearing in court and Senior Magistrate Rechanne Browne allowed the bail arrangement to continue.
The matter was withdrawn on Jan. 20, 2017, when Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche told the court that the Crown was not proceeding with the matter.
Primus, 32, escaped while on remand awaiting trial for the November 2015 murder of real estate agent Sharleen Greaves, 33.
On Wednesday, the chief magistrate ordered him to serve a 16-month prison term for the jailbreak.
He had pleaded guilty to a charge that between Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2019, at Kingstown, while being held on remand at Her Majesty’s Prisons, he did escape such lawful custody.
The accused murderer, who returned to custody voluntarily, refused to tell police anything about how he was able to escape from prison.
In court, his only comment on the jailbreak was, “I did return voluntarily and I did plead guilty at the first opportunity.”
Primus has also been indicted in New York in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Chanel Petro-Nixon.
U.S. authorities have made an extradition request for Primus but Kingstown says it will consider the request after exhausting the legal proceeding in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
It would appear that corruption has a pervasive presence in VincentIan society and is not limited to politics, but also the criminal justice system as well. Corruption is so widespread to the extent that there are differential treatment at the port of entry by some officials , that they turn a blind eye when things are imported. I recently tested the system and was surprised how far officials were prepared to bend and twist the law when they should not. I refused to aid and abeit corruption and politely told the official that I will not participate in any illegal measures that is tainted no more.
How can the prison system be short of officers and the country has such a vast unemployment rate?
What about the returning ex military personnel to our country that is well trained in tactical defence and integrity.
For a man that is a representative of the law of the land to breach security and willingly condone to the escape of a prisoner tells us what the integrity of the law is all about.
Time for the minister of defence and national security to see where the country is lacking.
I would recommend that we convert the juvenile boys home ( dodge) if it’s still in existence into a boarding school where we teach these young men and women intense military training and then we can use them in the police and security services to uplift and build our country.
These men that has served for over 10yrs supposed to be well trained and equipped to teach and train younger men and women to replace them.
Mr Prime minister it’s time to wake up and run our country well, dont run it down. Talking don’ t solve the issues, but action does. Too often we have incidents where those of the law is concerned.
If you (the Prime minister) wants to make investments, let me give you an idea. We have to islands of the shores of main land St Vincent called Baliceaux and Battowia or even the Isla a Quatre build the prisons between them so you can minimise on man power should it be of necessity and removed her majesty from the center of the town.
Give the country a face lift. And give back the lands in leeward to the farmers so we can them rebuild our export industry.
Please I can only beg on behalf of my people.
Orlando between Kingstown and Belisle they probably need a hundred extra officers. It’s not a shortage of people, it’s a shortage of money to pay those people.
When the comrade travels it cost’s so much that something has to be cut, and its the throats of the prison officers.
The prison officers lives are at risk because of these shortages and the Union is not doing enough to correct the situation. Very often dirty deals are done with prisoners to keep the peace and stay safe. So phones and drugs flow into the prison, always have.
But letting out or giving someone access to a key is something else, I cannot believe any prison officer can be that stupid.
Its not just opening a cell door, there are obviously a series of doors and a big gate, and unless they are all sleeping it’s almost impossible to leave unseen, even other prisoners will know the truth of what happened.
Something is seriously out of place in the whole situation. Were all of the officers part of a conspiracy? It’s difficult to accept its a one man job in getting the prisoner out.
Something is terrible wrong at the prison. How the hell on earth this bloke can walk right out that door and the person at the sentry didn’t saw him. This is a very serious problem and needs a proper investigation. The problem of short staff needs to be addressed.
If the police gives everyone at the prison a good beating, prisoners, staff, mothers of staff. They may get to the bottom of this, rightly or wrongly, that will not matter.
That is the usual method so why are they pussy footing around.
By the way it was not a jail break, it was a jail walk out.
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