Cops damned, says Magistrate

COURT TODAY BLOCKPolicing 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.

3 Responses to Cops damned, says Magistrate

  1. bajanguyster May 26, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Magistrate Allison Selle i believe that people do have a choice isnt it the law ?to me sound like you are vex because of the lady choice i know have people going to court keep you job going snd to the police some of them know they don’t have a case but still send it to court for the magistrate to say case dismiss ,to me that is the same but am just a nobody that being to school that read between the lines

  2. Alex3 May 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    If she called the police and they responded and found probable cause then she should be compelled to proceed or face a contempt of court charge herself.
    She wasted police resources if she was not serious about the abuse.

  3. Patrick Blackman May 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Any incident of domestic violence should be prosecuted regardless of the affected party changing their minds to move forward with the case period.


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