Saturday, April 20, 2024

‘No justice’ after case


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AFTER THREE YEARS of faithfully going to court as the complainant in an indecent assault case, a 56-year-old woman said she watched in dismay on Monday as a magistrate dismissed the case because the prosecutor had no files.

Helen Gill, of Wildey, St Michael, said she broke down in tears when she realised what had transpired.

“I don’t feel justice was served. How could the police lose a file?” she told the MIDWEEK NATION, waving the statement which she gave to the police.

She claimed also that her presence was not even acknowledged in court when the matter was thrown out.

Gill alleged that her boss’ father indecently assaulted her on July 26, 2013, by touching her breast. She worked for a prominent dentist for seven years as a janitor but voluntarily left the job after the alleged incident.

Gill said she went on sick leave for two weeks and even had to seek counselling. Her husband took her to the police to report the matter after which she went to an attorney for legal advice.

Gill explained that the attorney wrote her boss informing him that as a result of the incident, she could no longer work under his employ. She was subsequently paid out.

She said while the police informed her when the charge had been laid, she never heard anything else after that about going to court to give evidence.

“One day a friend of mine told me that he saw my name coming up in court and I should go there and see what was happening. I went the next day and I saw the accused and that was when I realised that the case was on that day. I went to the prosecutor and he told me that the case came up twice before and I wasn’t there, and if it came up the third time and I ain’t there, they would dismiss the case. I told him that I was never summoned.”

Gill said from that day she had been going to court on every court date, even though each time the case would be adjourned.

“This morning I went to court thinking now that something will come out of it and get it over and done with. I sat in the court and listened to what was going on. Andrew Pilgrim (attorney) got up and said his client was coming to court for a long period of time and he want it thrown out.

“The magistrate turn and ask the prosecutor what was going on and he said he can’t find the files and the magistrate say the case dismissed.

Witness stand

“I never get a chance to go on the witness stand to say anything, to explain what happen.

“I thought that they would at least give me an apology this morning, tell me sorry for what happen but I ain’t get nothing,” the upset women cried.

When contacted, Pilgrim, who represented the 95-year-old accused, said he kept hearing for the past two years that there was no file.

“My responsibility is to go to court for people and represent them and when I go there and the Crown is not ready . . . my job is to ask for the case to be dismissed for want of prosecution.

“In this case my client is charged for allegedly poking her in her breast . . . but in two years we can’t get a file?

“It’s not my client’s fault and it’s not her fault, but I don’t think you can expect to bring
a 95-year-old man to court for two years and don’t even have a file.”

Pilgrim said he was not aware the victim was at court.

The MIDWEEK NATION also contacted Inspector Eustace Ifill, who is in charge of the Court Prosecutor’s Office. He confirmed that the matter had been dismissed and that the office was conducting an investigation into the matter.




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