Cops damned, says Magistrate
Policing in Barbados is “a very ungrateful, unthankful profession”.
That view was expressed by acting Magistrate Alliston Seale in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today, after a complainant said she was no longer offering evidence in a case against a 42-year-old accused man.
Herman Joseph, of Quarry Road, St Michael, was accused of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting serious bodily harm on Donna Bennett on May 22.
Before he could enter a plea today, the complainant told the court that she did not want to proceed with the matter. The woman said she told that to the police, even while she was making the report, but they insisted on charging Joseph and advised her to tell the court her position.
The acting magistrate said there were so many who believed that “the police don’t do anything in matters of domestic violence” but they were unaware of what goes on in society.
“They (police) are chided for not turning up and then people come here and say they are not bothering . . . [is] it fair for the police to come to you all when they could have been elsewhere?” he asked.
“If the injury gets worse, or you die, or there is further or future victimization, then you would hear people saying ‘you know how long she did calling the police?’ They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.”
Sergeant Neville Reid interjected to say that the two already had a matter in court and that was as recent as March this year.
Seale stressed that he “can’t force people to give evidence if they don’t want to” but “somebody has to pay $150 costs to the court”.
Referring to the complainant’s bandaged hand, Seale asked: “How you get that hand there now? Something arising out of this incident?”
“Yes Sir,” she replied.
“Your hand in a cast and you couldn’t care less.”
In addressing bail for the unemployed man, the complainant said she would be his surety.
Asked what relation she was to Joseph, the surety said she was his friend.
“When yuh friend breaking up yuh hand like that, yuh don’t need enemies,” Seale added.
“That is true, Sir.”
Joseph was granted $5 000 bail and the case adjourned until Friday, by which time cost should be paid.