UPDATE-Wanted sisters found hiding in a wardrobe
A 49-year-old St Michael woman, accused of harbouring two daughters wanted by police, was today remanded to HMP Dodds following a court appearance.
Barbara Rosita Bailey, of No. 8 Grazettes Court, Grazettes, was not required to plead to the indictable offence when she went before acting Magistrate Elwood Watts.
She is charged with concealing Shakira and Tiffany Bailey in a wardrobe in order to impede their apprehension or prosecution, despite knowing or believing they had committed an arrestable offence of aggravated burglary or some other offence.
Bailey appeared in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court where Sergeant Theodore McClean objected to bail on the grounds that the offence was serious and that police were still investigating the matter which was at a delicate stage.
He also felt that the woman would continue to assist her daughters “by whatever means necessary” and thereby impede the investigations.
“We believe she herself would fail to appear if granted bail,” McClean continued.
In response, the accused told the court that she was not the person who brought the girls into the house; the house was not hers; and her daughters did not reside there.
She said she had stopped working after becoming medically unfit and now cares for her five grandchildren. Her son and his girlfriend also live at that same house, Bailey said.
Appearing amicus curiae [friend of the court] for Bailey, attorney-at-law Oliver Thomas commented that there were “very compelling factors which go in favour of the accused”.
He mentioned that Bailey has no pending matters before any court and had kept a clean record since 1983. She had “neither ownership nor control” of the house where the women were apprehended, which means that the strength of the evidence was tenuous, Thomas said.
“By and large, she is a person of relatively good character,” Thomas submitted, adding he was confident that “given certain conditions, she would be a proper candidate for bail”.
Thomas spoke further in relation to the surrendering of Bailey’s passport and having her report to a police station.
“So there is no need to remand her,” the lawyer said, “the case has not reached the threshold that would require remanding.”
Acting Magistrate Watts pointed out, though, that the allegation of hiding someone in a wardrobe does not require ownership of the house. He also felt that the allegation was specific and was “strictly against her,” not anyone else residing there.
Given that the accused’s daughters were already being questioned by police, Watts said he would remand Bailey until Wednesday, July 29, which should give the police enough time to carry out their investigations without any impediment.