Court marshal admits to mistake with summons
When Kelroy Alexander went the District ‘A’ Traffic Court on Monday it was because a marshal saw him a few days earlier and told him that he needed to report to the court since a warrant of arrest was out for him.
Alexander did so. It was also when he found out from Magistrate Graveney Bannister that the warrant was issued in relation to him not attending court last October 6.
When he was questioned about the reason for his absence, the accused man said he never received a summons and was out of the jurisdiction at the time. However, the Affidavit of Service of Summons was signed as having been delivered personally.
That being the case, Magistrate Bannister summoned the marshal who was on record as having served the summons to Alexander.
However, Alexander testified today that he had never received a summons from that marshal, or any other, in relation to October 6. He also produced a travel itinerary and passport, which showed that he had travelled to St Vincent from September 23 until January 12.
The marshal did not cross-examine Alexander, but in his sworn evidence he said that it was a genuine mistake. He explained that he wrote the word “personally” on the back of the affidavit by accident and this was due to the large volume of work he had that day.
He also explained that he gave it to Alexander’s stepdaughter, even though he had not recorded her name in his register.
Questioned by the court, the marshal said he was aware that the consequence of his actions was that a warrant of arrest might be issued for the person.
He admitted that the correct procedure would have been to record the name of the recipient, which he had not done.
Under cross-examination by the accused, Alexander wanted to know if the marshal was aware that his (Alexander’s) stepdaughter did not live at him and that he was overseas. The marshal said he was aware, but he had spoken to the woman who told him her stepfather would have been back in the island in time.
Alexander insisted that he never got a summons from his stepdaughter.
The matter will continue tomorrow when the chief marshal is expected to attend court.