Saturday, April 20, 2024

Magistrate at Oistins October 12


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THE SITUATION at Oistins Magistrates’ Court concerning the availability of a magistrate to preside over that jurisdiction has been described by one defence attorney as “tenuous at best”.
As a result, said Angella Mitchell-Gittens, her clients who have been accused of trafficking in over $840 000 worth of drugs, should not have to wait on remand until a magistrate can get around to their case.
Mitchell-Gittens was applying for bail on behalf of Richard Alexander Alleyne and Chesterfield Orlando Harewood, whose matters were brought back to the District “A” Traffic Court yesterday because of the unavailability of a magistrate at Oistins.
Alleyne, 32, a painter of Hindsbury Road, St Michael; Harewood, 38, a fisherman, of 2nd Avenue, Vauxhall, Christ Church,  and Marvin Selwyn Walcott, 34, also a fisherman, of Pilgrim Road, Christ Church, are accused of having 419.76 pounds or 190.8 kilos of cannabis in their possession on August 17.
They were also not required to plead to having a traffickable quantity of the drug; having it with intent to supply, and importing it on the same date.
Prosecutor from the Oistins Court, Sergeant Azel Skeete,  asked that the status quo of the men remain the same.
He said a magistrate should be back in the Christ Church court by October 12.
Mitchell-Gittens began her submissions by saying that other accused had been granted bail for larger amounts of drugs and her clients were fit and proper candidates for release.
“The prosecutor is hoping to have a magistrate by October 12,” the attorney said.
“Things at Oistins are tenuous at best and have been for some time. I don’t know if you can remand a person on allegations in those circumstances,” she said.
The attorney further pointed to the “problems” at the Government Forensic Sciences Centre.
“I expect in the normal course of things, that in a year, the matter will not have advanced any further. There are several part heard matters that screeched to a halt and when the magistrate comes back, those will be given priority,” Mitchell-Gittens told the court.
Vonda Pile, who appeared for Walcott, said her submissions in the application for bail remained the same.
Magistrate Christopher Birch transferred the matters back to the Oistins Court for October 15.
“Until then, the position remains the same. You are remanded in custody,” Magistrate Birch said.

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