A man who was charged eight times in 16 months in connection with various offences has been granted bail on an assault charge, to the frustration of the prosecutor.
Prosecutor Delando Charles told the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Georgetown, on Thursday, that the man, Shem Baptiste, “seems to be a menace to the community”.
Charles noted that Baptiste has appeared before the Georgetown and Colonarie magistrate’s courts eight times in the 16 months he has been the prosecution, charged mainly with assault and wounding.
He said that if he had his way, Baptiste, 30, of O’Brien’s Valley, Georgetown, would not be granted bail.
He said the defendant appeared before the court in June and there are already matters for August and September.
Charles said he has a duty to protect the public but admitted that he did not have enough ground on which to argue that the defendant should be remanded in custody.
He, however, said the court could exercise that discretion.
Charles asked that bail be on condition that Baptiste has no contact with the virtual complainants and that reporting conditions be attached.
Baptiste appear before Magistrate Bertie Pompey and pleaded not guilty to charges that on Aug. 24, at Mt Bentick, Georgetown, he assaulted a 16-year-old student, of Arnos Vale, causing actual, bodily harm and that on Sept. 18, at Mt Bentick, he unlawfully and maliciously wounded Miles Abraham, of Dickson Village.
Pompey granted bail in the sum of EC$1,800 with one surety.
He also ordered that Baptiste have no contact with the virtual complainants and report to the Georgetown Police Station every Tuesday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The magistrate adjourned and transferred the matter to the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court for hearing on Oct. 16.
Later that same day, Baptiste’s mom, Lusanda James, an ice-box vendor and farmer, told the court that she would act as surety for her son.
She said her son “lives all about” and does not live with her.
“But me been bail him already and he came court,” she told the magistrate who seemed reluctant to accept her as a surety.
The prosecutor said he had no objection to James acting as a surety as long as she understood that she would have to pay the bail sum forthwith if her son fails to attend court.
Pompey told James that the oath she took is “not a joke matter”. He explained to her that she has a responsibility to ensure her son attends court and if he fails to, she would bear the consequences.
James told the court she understands and would act as surety for her son.