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Mistaken identity? 

Scantlebury’s detention questioned

“If you are going to keep a man in prison you must know who he is,” attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim QC told the Court of Appeal today.

Pilgrim was before the Court on behalf of his client Midian Scantlebury, who is expected to appeal an extended stay in prison.

Scantlebury, of Westbury Road, St. Michael, was jailed for five years in April 1998 for wounding. His imprisonment should have ended in 2002 but he remained incarcerated for a further six and a half years, based on a sentence that was handed down to his identical twin brother Medan Scantlebury.

Medan had been given a longer sentence than Midian on a different matter, but he (Medan) was released earlier than his twin.

Pilgrim, along with attorneys Carol-Ann Best and Alexandria Thomas, was applying for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal since this had not been done within the specified time.

That Court of Appeal granted that extension today and the attorneys now have seven days in which to file.

The matter was heard and determined this morning by Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and Justices of Appeal Sandra Mason and Andrew Burgess.

The intended appeal surrounds the issue of whether Scantlebury was wrongfully kept in prison under the belief that he was his twin brother.

That matter originally went before former High Court Judge Elneth Kentish, but was dismissed.

Pilgrim submitted to the Appeal judges that Scantlebury’s “constitutional right to be free” had been breached. He added that the Prison authorities knew the Scantleburys were an identical twin and even though that could present a challenge, they should have taken steps such as fingerprinting to ensure that the prisoner was the correct one.

Pilgrim stressed that the case was also one of “public interest.”

The senior attorney further explained that for more than a year, Scantlebury was unable to retain counsel based on financial reasons and that gave additional merit to the fact that the matter was one which involved “special enough” circumstances that it ought to be “fully adjudicated.”

The Crown was represented by Principal Crown Counsel Roger Barker and Crown Counsels Dawn Grant and Alison Burke.

17 Responses to Mistaken identity? 

  1. BOBO THE SAME CLOWN October 17, 2015 at 10:55 am

    This sounds like a bum rap to me. Who soever is at fault for this mix up should also be placed in jail for their actions. That is a totally unprofessional job .
    This reminds me of white people have used the idea that all blacks look alike,so if the Police got one it didn’t matter if he was the one that committed the crime that was enough .
    Some justice eh?

    • Olutoye Walrond October 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Bobo, do all white people look alike to you?

  2. Andrena Ceasar
    Andrena Ceasar October 17, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Barbados oh Barbados

  3. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner October 17, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Barbados justice system is run by idiots plain and simple,simple cases taking quarter of a century to resolve but im blaming citizens who keep on allowing this garbage to keep happening.Cannot in good faith promote this place to foreigners without letting them know how stupid people running country is and how backwards it is good and bad and then if they still want to visit it so be.

  4. carson c cadogan October 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    The CCJ really has its work for it when dealing with Barbados.

    Judicial incompetence at every level.

  5. carson c cadogan October 17, 2015 at 2:50 pm


    Methinks that the judicial system in Bimshire needs a serious house cleaning. The amount of things going wrong is really stupefying.

    Marshalls for reasons best known to them can’t seem to find the people they have to serve the warrants to.

    The Police can’t find files relating to Court cases on a regular basis.

    Police executing searches for people who are long dead.

    Police bail no longer being given.

    People on remand for simple charges and serious charges for excess of five years at Dodds.

    Dodds releasing a wrong prisoner.

    Cell phones in prisoners cells.

    Lawyers stealing clients’ monies.

    Cases taking in excess of twenty years to resolve.

    Coroners inquest into matters taking in excess of twenty five years to be convened.

    CCJ constantly chastising Bajan judges.

    Can it get better? I doubt it.

    We seem to lack intelligent, informed, morally upright, politically neutral, fair minded people with a burning desire to put wrong things right. Everyone seem to like it just as it is.

  6. Frank Fowler
    Frank Fowler October 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    The legal, medical and political professions being run by complete morons in Barbados

  7. Tristan John
    Tristan John October 17, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Lol. Only in Bim…

  8. Tony Webster October 18, 2015 at 6:20 am

    Hey guys…level with me: this is either this a “grade B” movie…or a Anansi story, right?

    On the serious , and “flip’ side, it is also a joke…as you and I will have to foot the compensatory payment to the wrong man, of a cupple very big ones! Yes, the “joke”…will be on us…the taxpayers. As usual. And no-one will “lose dem wuk’

  9. jrsmith October 18, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Now , as I always say , us bajans is paying for failure, from top to bottom in Barbados, why we are failing, again , you are building a house , but you have employed all painters, so where do you start, no one to read the drawings, that’s our government.

    This man is a criminal, so what,, but this is showing Barbados in a bad light, everything goes on in Barbados is failing and brings controversy, bajans must openly understand , why nothing is done about , guns , how the guns enters Barbados, how only the minos are being caught, but the bigger picture, criminals in Barbados is being protected.

  10. Vernon October 18, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    But the report say that the man remain incarcerated a further 6 & a half years after he was supposed to be released. I don’t understand this at all. I mean, six & a half years???? I have never been to prison before & hope that I never have to, but I would like to believe that i I am in prison & I am supposed to be released on a certain date & I am not, I will be asking the warden some serious questions. Then, I dont know if family members were visiting this guy or not but if they were visiting then that matter should’ve been cleared up within a week. This story is very very strange.

  11. Tony Waterman October 18, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    @Vernon, why am i i not surprised that this has happened, when i was a young Lad growing up in Barbados, we did not Have Free Education, neither did we have so many BA’s, MA’s, PHD’s et al, but was was had back then was alot of “COMMON SENSE” and people who thought through Things, Today we have all those things mentioned above and the People who carry these designations THINK ONLY of Themselves, and walk about Stiffed Neck, looking IMPORTANT. WE NEED BADLY to get back to being PEOPLE and thinking of how to be our BROTHERS Keeper. it is so SAD where Education has taken us.
    BTW: this has also happened in THE USA and in CANADA, the only difference is that those Disadvantaged got a Ton of Money for the time they were incarcerated ILLEGALLY.
    Hopefully SOMETHING will be done to avoid this happening again to ANYONE. Where is the Ag.on this one????

  12. Zeus October 19, 2015 at 8:50 am

    These set of twins tormented westbury and its environs during their teenage years because of their identical features they took advantage of them to make a mockery of the justice system ….the case in question did not call for fingerprints it was a case of identity each brother said its not them it’s the other even when the case reached the Supreme Court they still kept with that ploy ……the Chief Justice at the time decided that one had to be kept and one was kept ….simple case of Peter paying for Paul or in this case Medan and Median ……btw I hope and pray none of you bloggers become a victim of crime by any of these twins because none of you can identify one from the next……stay tune if the other is released within the next two years you will hear about these twins again

  13. miche October 19, 2015 at 9:02 am

    What is it with The CCJ and Barbados,,,, Seem as though Barbados has become the whipping boy of the court

  14. maxjustina October 19, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Let’s not forget his beloved brother who was released in his stead. Did he love his other half so much that he allowed him to stay in jail without bringing it to the attention of the authorities? or his family members? I hope he did not take up residence with this imprisoned brother’s girlfriend or wife. Why now? What plan did the two of them made before that released one left prison? I hope that the released brother did not have a grudge against his still-imprisoned twin. In future if an identical twin has to be imprisoned, even if for a minute, they should be made to wear a tag that can be removed electronically.

  15. Tony Waterman October 21, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    @miche!!!!! The CCJ is only saying what the Privy Council Of Britain did NOT Care to say, is that so Wrong ??? (Speak the truth, and speak it ever , Cost it what it may)
    Would you like a Land Transaction deal to be in the Court System for 27 years??? there is no whipping Boy here, Justice DELAYED is Justice DENIED, and Barbados is at the TOP of the Justice DENIED LIST.
    Having the CCJ is also a part of our Independence, and FYI the Privy Council had stated PUBLICLY that they were NO LONGER interested in Hearing Cases from the Caribbean, as they did not have enough time for their own Cases.


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