Industrial action by civil servants increases backlog at the courts

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Industrial action by civil servants increases backlog at the courts

The industrial action taken by civil servants on Monday and Tuesday this week has resulted in a backlog of court cases for an already clogged system.

Justice Francis Cumberbatch returned to court Wednesday with over 50 cases to be heard.

However, matters down for report were dispatched in quick order.

Samuel Mathurin – causing death

A report was ordered on Samuel Mathurin, who is charged with causing death, regarding his mental status.  The defence asked for and was granted an extended period of time in which to obtain a comprehensive psychiatric and psychological report on Mathurin.  The matter was adjourned to April 18, 2013.  Mathurin is represented by Attorney Daasrean Greene.

Rape

A man accused of rape was also granted leave to produce a report of his mental status.  The accused has already been seen by Dr. Swammi, who is the psychiatrist used by the state in these matters.  This defendant will also report to the court on April 18, 2013.  He is represented by attorney Alfred Alcide.

Elian Phillip – murder

A final adjournment was granted in the case of Elian Phillip, who is accused of murder.  Phillip has been on remand since 2008.  Defence counsel in the matter, George Charlemange, asked for the adjournment in order to better prepare his case.  Justice Cumberbatch was not impressed as the defendant is currently on remand, but granted a final adjournment after ascertaining that the defendant had no objections to his lawyer being granted the extension.  The trial date for this matter is June 5, 2013.

Allan McMillan Dupre – death by dangerous driving

A trial date was also set in the case of accused Allan McMillan Dupre who is accused of causing death by dangerous driving.  Daasrean Greene appeared on behalf of the accused.  The trial date has been set for September 23, 2013.  Dupre is currently on bail.

Zannick Popo – murder

Accused murderer Zannick Popo was also in court this week.  The murder  took place in 2010.  Attorney for the accused is Alberton Richelieu.  The trial is set to begin on June 24, 2013.

Yolanda Frederick – murder

A pre-trial conference is set to continue in the matter of the Queen versus Yolanda Frederick who is accused of an August 27, 2010 murder. Frederick is represented by Attorney Leslie Mondesir.  Currently on remand at the Bordelais Correctional Facility, Frederick will next appear in court on March 13, 2013.

Urban Glace – causing death by dangerous driving

Urban Glace is accused of causing death by dangerous driving.  The incident took place on June 18, 2006 and the defendant is currently on bail.  Glace is set to return to court on May 16, 2013 for his trial to commence.

Meanwhile, six separate matters, ranging from gross indecency to sexual intercourse with minors, were all set for pre-trial conferencing or fixed for trial this week, but have been rescheduled to begin sometime between March 21, 2013 and May 24, 2013.

Sentencing in the High Court is quite a lengthy process.  The obtaining of pre-sentence reports from the Probation Department, which includes interviewing friends and neighbours, co-workers and bosses, as well as prison officials if the defendant is remanded, is only the beginning.

The defence can also bring in character witnesses in order to present a case for a lighter or more lenient sentence for a client.

Between Monday and Friday, nine matters including three for sexual offences, were set for sentencing. Of these matters only one sentence was handed down.

Due to the industrial action by civil servants, pre-sentence reports arrived late on the desk of Justice Cumberbatch, who permitted short adjournments in order to allow the court to review the documents.

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