The court has tied up the loose ends surrounding the bail conditions of an accused shooter who has been charged twice with breaching his bail conditions since they were imposed last November.
On Monday, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, sitting at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, ordered the accused, Rolando “Street Law” Samuel, 36, of Chester Cottage and Troumaca, to observe his 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew at the specific house he indicated to the court.
At Samuel’s arraignment in November, at the Serious Offences Court, the chief magistrate set his bail at EC$20,000 with one surety and ordered him to have no contact with the virtual complainant.
Samuel told the court that he was living in Troumaca and the chief magistrate ordered him to report to Rose Hall Police Station on Mondays and Thursdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and observe a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
However, Samuel breached his curfew on Dec. 17, when police officers from the Georgetown Police Station met him at Adam’s Bar, in Chester Cottage around 9:15 p.m.
He told Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court that he had gone there to purchase food.
In handing down his sentence, Burnett said that when a court grants bail, the court expects all the conditions to be obeyed. “I have listened to the explanation given by you. I am not God to know if you are speaking the truth. But because of that, I’m not going to impose a custodial sentence,” Burnett said.
He imposed a fine of EC$1,500 to be paid by March 31, 2023 or go to prison for nine months.
On Jan. 23, the same magistrate found Samuel not guilty of a charge that on Jan. 11, at Chester Cottage, he wilfully disobeyed court order 356 of 2022, made by Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne at the Serious Offences Court on Nov. 30, 2022.
The prosecution argued that Samuel was met at a home other than his residence and this was in breach of his curfew.
However, the defendant said this was not the case and called a witness who testified that Samuel also lives at the house where he was found.
Burnett found that nothing on the bail bond specified where Samuel should be during the time of the curfew.
“It was extremely vague,” Burnett said and found him not guilty.
This past Monday, at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, prosecutor Station Sergeant of Police Renrick Cato told the court that the prosecution was not ready to proceed on the firearm and wounding charges against Samuel.
He told the court that the prosecution was seeking an adjournment in the matter, as well as a variation of the bail.
Cato said that when Samuel was arrested, he indicated to the court that he would like to report to police at Rose Hall, but has said on more than one occasions since then, that he lives in Chester Cottage.
The prosecutor asked the court to have Samuel say where he lives and in exactly which house.
“I asked that specific question and he said Troumaca. I asked that specific question and the police said Rose Hall,” the chief magistrate said, referring to the November 2022 hearing at which Samuel was granted bail.
“If there was going to be a change in circumstances, it should have been brought to the attention of the court which gave you bail,” she said, adding that Samuel had been doing things off his own.
But Samuel said that he had reported to the Rose Hall Police Station.
Browne told him that could not have been the case and there is no recording of him reporting there.
Superintendent of Police Hesran Ballantyne, who was present, told the court that Samuel had come to the Georgetown Police Station last Saturday.
The chief magistrate told the defendant that he could not have gone to Rose Hall and they have no record of him reporting there.
“So, is he misleading the court or the police? You need to give us the specifics because you can’t have us as a kangaroo court,” the superintendent said.
Samuel told the court that he lives in Chester Cottage and Troumaca and is usually “back and forth” between those communities, located on St. Vincent’s west and east coasts, respectively.
“You want to have the court like a pappy show. You think it is something funny,” the chief magistrate said.
Cato said he had asked the police in Rose Hall and they said Samuel had been reporting there then he went to Georgetown.
“You are doing your own thing then have persons making suggestions and doing things,” the chief magistrate said.
But Samuel said that he had told the police that he had changed residence.
“You cannot talk to the police; you come to the court. You are out of place. And when you are finished, you have the court looking like a fool,” Browne said.
“Why are you saying that?” the accused man said.
“You know why,” Browne responded.
“I am a good boy,” Samuel said.
“I never said you are not a good boy,” the chief magistrate told him.
Cato restated his application regarding the curfew, asking that Samuel tell the court in which village and house he would observe it.
“I have two houses,” Samuel said.
But the chief magistrate told him he has to indicate which house he would be at during the curfew.
“I will talk to my lawyer,” Samuel said.
“I asked you where you will be based, you said Troumaca hence why we put the reporting condition,” the chief magistrate said.
“I am living in Chester,” Samuel said.
“Where in Chester?” the chief magistrate asked.
“The police know where,” Samuel responded.
“I asked you. Know your place,” the chief magistrate said.
Samuel then gave the name of a person in Chester Cottage as the house in which he lives.
“That is where the curfew will apply to,” the chief magistrate said.
Cato asked the court to remind Samuel of the time of the curfew and the chief magistrate did so.
“Yes. I know,” Samuel said.
“Don’t say you know. You obviously don’t know,” the chief magistrate responded.
Cato then told the court: “Since he gave this house, I don’t know if he wants to leave Chester to go to Rose Hall to report.”
Samuel told the court that he can go to Rose Hall anytime, adding, “I am from Troumaca.”
The chief magistrate reminded him that he has to report to police in Rose Hall on Mondays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The matter was adjourned to March 2 at the Serious Offences Court.
“No problem,” Samuel said as he left the dock.
Samuel is charged with possession of one Glock .43 pistol, serial number BKDD451 and eight rounds of 9mm ammunition without a licence; and possession of a firearm with intent to commit an offence; and with intent to endanger life.
He is further charged with three counts of malicious wounding relating to a shooting in Byera on Nov. 27, 2022.