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Coast Guard officer charged with setting police girlfriend on fire in Trinidad

St Lucia News Online

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(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) The Coast Guard officer who allegedly doused his girlfriend, WPC Kelly-Ann Humphrey, with a flammable liquid before setting her ablaze over the weekend has been remanded into prison custody by a Port of Spain Magistrate.

Even though his attorney attempted to convince the court to place his client in the custody of the Coast Guard, Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine said she was not willing to do so given Humphrey’s present medical condition at hospital.

The accused, Nathaniel Bullock, with a heavily-bandaged right hand, stood before Antoine shortly before noon Friday, accused of causing her grievous bodily harm on May 5, at her Boundary Road Extension, San Juan, home.

He was taken into custody shortly after allegedly committing the offence and charged on Thursday evening after officers received the go-ahead from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

After the charge was read, Bullock was not called upon to plea since the charge was laid indictably.

The prosecution said it was not in support of bail being granted since Humphrey was currently warded at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in a critical condition. She is also heavily sedated.

Based on her condition, the prosecution stated there is a possibility that the charge against Bullock may have to be “upgraded” in the near future should her condition worsen. Should bail be granted, the prosecution stated Bullock may not attend court or may even flee the jurisdiction since there exists the possibility of him being later charged with a capital offence.

However, criminal defence attorney Ian Brooks said if the court were to refuse bail, he was asking that his client not be remanded into prison custody but instead in the care of the Coast Guard.

Like prison, Brooks said Bullock would be confined and not allowed to be in a situation “where he can come and go at large.” This would guarantee that he attends court on each and every occasion when required to do so.

But the prosecution again insisted that it was “strenuously objecting to bail” since it was unaware and uncertain what the conditions entail if Bullock were to be placed in the care of the Coast Guard.

Brooks said the prosecution had the option of questioning one of Bullock’s supervisor who was in court for the hearing for clarity on what conditions he would be subjected to while in their custody.

However, this did not take place.

After hearing submissions from both sides, the Magistrate said she was not willing to grant bail given Humphrey’s conditions. But in doing so, she reminded Brooks and the accused they had a right to apply to a High Court judge for bail.

The magistrate adjourned the matter to May 17, for an update on Humphrey’s medical condition.

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