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Magistrate Bertie Pompey. (iWN file photo)
Magistrate Bertie Pompey. (iWN file photo)

Magistrate Bertie Pompey has voiced concern about “the trend” of people bringing matters before the court then withdrawing them before trial.

He expressed his concern recently at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court where a woman said she did not want to offer evidence against a man who she had alleged assaulted her, occasioning actual bodily harm. 

When the matter was called, the prosecutor, Corporal of Police 817 Stapleton, informed the court that the virtual complainant, Garicia Bailey, of Magum was going “to take a particular course of action” and would give evidence on oath.

“She’s going to say that she don’t want any, any arhm –” Pompey was saying to Stapleton but addressed Bailey.

“Look, let me warn you, hear, because I notice this is the trend. I don’t leave home to just come up here to preside and you come and say that you don’t want to go any further. 

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“When you interfere with the process, it ain’t work so. Maybe you can ask the police to warn the person or something. You don’t come and engage us here,” Pompey told Bailey.

“Look at the amount of —  it’s not your case alone! Count the amount of money to get this case here [from the time of the report to it appearing before the court] and myself,” Pompey told Bailey.

The magistrate said: “This is a criminal matter. It’s an offence against the state. You might be the victim but it’s the state prosecuting. It’s not for you to come and say you don’t want to continue.

“If it is a civil matter, you can do that, you can withdraw a civil matter. You don’t even have to come to court, but this is a criminal matter, it’s a case against the state and you have a duty to give evidence,” Pompey told Bailey.

“The case against you is dismissed,” Pompey told the accused, Marvel Baptiste also, of Magum, who was facing a charge that, on June 21, he assaulted Bailey occasioning actual bodily harm. 

He had also been charged for throwing missiles.

“If they [police] didn’t take action, the whole world would have heard about it but don’t use the court for your convenience. You hear me! You would have heard how incompetent the police are and the court system,” Pompey said.

4 replies on “Magistrate concerned about ‘trend’ of people withdrawing charges”

  1. Orlando Delex Alexander says:

    Then is the point where you should start putting are charge or penalty on those who seems to be wasting the courts time and taxpayers money. Not forgetting taking up police time.

  2. I fully agree with the sentiments expressed by the learned magistrate and his position on that plaguing issue that has caused so much backlog of pending court matters. While it’s a civil right of a victim of crime to decline giving evidence against his/her perpetrator(s), these victims must also take into consideration that it takes a considerable amount of the state’s resources and time to have matters brought before the courts, then having to hear on the day of trial that the victim no longer wish to proceed with the matter could be quite upsetting and frustrating. Please make that decision be known early during the initial stage of the police investigations.

  3. Alwayn Leacock says:

    You get charged in this country for wasting the courts time and police time.
    I agree with him I’ve had to neglect patients and turn up to witness and the charges are withdrawn.
    That’s not fair

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