Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, on Tuesday, chided the police for holding a man in custody for an additional day after realising they had made a mistake about his name.
The man Delano Richardson, of Glen, appeared in court on Monday.
During the proceedings, the court called for “Lano Whiskey” and the orderly, having made the call, reported that there was “no appearance of Lano Whiskey”.
The magistrate then asked Richardson, who was sitting in the prisoners’ area, his name. He said, “Delano Richardson”.
The court asked if he knew one “Glenroy Glasgow” and Richardson said that is the person who alleged that he assaulted him.
He said he did not give the police the name “Lano Whiskey”.
The chief magistrate observed that no one from the Calliaqua Police Station, which had made the arrest, had come to court.
The prosecutor, Station Sergeant of Police Renrick Cato told the court that the police would have to bring the charge in the right name and give Richardson station bail to appear before the Calliaqua magistrate the following day, Tuesday.
“It would not be fair to hold him in custody,” the prosecutor said.
Responding to a question from the magistrate about how Richardson came to court, Cato said that the police from Mesopotamia, which is located in the same policing district, were coming to court so they passed by Calliaqua and brought the accused man.
After the court was adjourned for the day, iWitness News was present outside the court when Cato placed a call on his cell phone and instructed the person on the other end as he had told the court the police would have to do.
Then, on Tuesday, Richardson was escorted back into the court, in handcuffs, along with other accused people.
When his matter was called, the chief magistrate asked why Richardson was brought back to court in handcuffs.
The prosecutor told the court that when he arrived in court and saw the defendant in the prisoners’ area, he inquired as to why.
“… because I spoke to the investigator and advised him what to do. I find it rather strange that he was still there,” Cato told the court.
“I understand he was in custody overnight. I looked at his signature on a document that he signed and he signed that name (Delano Richardson) so I have no idea where the police got that name (Lano Whiskey),” the prosecutor told the court.
“And he is penalised for that stupidity and incompetence?” Browne said, adding that Richardson had signed documents at the police station in his correct name.
“They charge him and his time was up. They were advised by the prosecutor because he couldn’t be penalised for their error and you didn’t listen to the prosecutor, detained the man,” Browne said, raising her voice.
“You created a charge sheet in a wrong name and you still kept him overnight to bring him back here without bail — after he was kept in custody on the weekend. This cannot be allowed to happen. You didn’t turn up today, you have it signed by the JP (justice of the peace) and you are not here to give account for your action,” the chief magistrate further said, referring to the investigating officer.
“This is wrong! How could you make such a gross error? The names are not even close. The only thing is that there is an alleged report by somebody else,” she said.
The allegation was that Sept. 4, at Glen, Richardson assaulted Glenroy Glasgow with intent to commit wounding.
“I am minded to do certain things with this charge because police need to learn that you cannot do these things to people.”
Cato again told the court that he gave instruction that the correction be made and Richardson be given bail to appear before the Calliaqua court.
“I was most surprised. It will not stay here. I will do my part in relation to the way in which this matter was handled,” the prosecutor told the court.
The chief magistrate said she was “almost floored” when she saw Richardson coming into the court in handcuffs.
Richardson, who was wearing the same clothes on Tuesday, as on Monday, told the court that he was arrested on Sunday after coming from church.
“You were so frustrated sitting there yesterday saying that ‘is not me, I told them my name’; prosecutor verifying,” the chief magistrate told Richardson.
The accused man pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail in his own recognisance in the sum of EC$200 and the matter was adjourned and transferred to Calliaqua Magistrate’s Court for hearing on Sept. 20.