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Hit them hard!

DPP wants tougher stance against alleged murderers

“Hit criminals hardest where it hurts!”

That’s what Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Charles Leacock, QC, would like to see happen in this country’s judicial system, as he calls for a more emphatic response to crime.

Leacock said for too long criminals have not been feeling the full weight of the law, and the judicial system must now begin sending a strong message to those who choose a life of crime.

And he has proposed that it begins by denying murder accused bail and confiscating the ill-gotten gains of criminals found guilty of involvement in illegal activity.

“I really do not think that bail should be given to murder accused. We don’t necessarily have to review the Bail Act to do that. There will always be discretions, but what we have to do is to get the judges to be less willing to grant bail to persons because what experiences have shown are that it is quite problematic,” Leacock told Barbados TODAY in an interview this morning, shortly after addressing graduates at the closing ceremony of the Regional Security System’s Prosecution of Drug Offences course.

“People are out on bail and allegedly committing other serious offences and it is not the first time that it is happening. We will have to review the manner in which the Act is being applied.”

His comments came as 36-year-old Cheriss Ricardo Omar Ince, who is currently on bail for a murder charge, appeared in court charged in connection with the disappearance of 75-year-old Marcelle Smith on October 13.

A body which was discovered in a ravine last Saturday is believed to be that of the missing mother of three.

Leacock said unless there are exceptional circumstances, all murder accused should be remanded to HMP Dodds.

“You shouldn’t get bail for murder unless it’s a very exceptional case; let’s say in the case of a very elderly person or a very young person like a schoolboy with a very appropriate defence, like self defence. That kind of case you can understand.

“But the usual run of the mill shooting, I don’t think it is appropriate to give bail for. I agree you can’t keep people indefinitely and those cases should be fast tracked. But we must set up an administrative way of dealing with it, rather than just giving everybody bail for murder,” he insisted.

Furthermore, Leacock contended that prosecutors could no longer be satisfied with imprisonment as the only means of punishment.

He said he hoped that within the next six months the Statutory Regime on Civil Forfeiture legislation would be before Parliament, which, if passed, would allow for the assets of criminals to be seized.

“The prosecution thrust has now moved well beyond simply ensuring convictions or imprisonment. In addressing the crime problem, we as prosecutors can no longer be satisfied with imprisonment. We have to ensure that criminals are disgorged of their illegally gotten gains. That is the answer to the crime problem,” Leacock maintained.

“Crime must be shown to be unprofitable. It must be shown that crime does not pay. It must hit the criminals where it hurts most; in their pockets.

“Many career criminals, especially drug traffickers, consider imprisonment as an occupational hazard. Accordingly, going to prison is no big deal, especially if they know on release they have their stashes in store, or that their property can be enjoyed by their relatives, friends or criminal organizations,” he added.

Leacock said the assets seized could be used to fund the criminal justice system, to fund recovery programmes and to
build schools.

9 Responses to Hit them hard!

  1. Sue Donym October 31, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Dear Mr DPP, may I make some suggestions:

    When found guilty please make sure they stay in jail for the time decided. None of this nonsense about time off for good behaviour. Criminals are not in jail for their behaviour in jail. Good behaviour on the outside will ensure you stay out of jail

    Why are you recommending commutation for murderers? Even if the death sentence is withdrawn, why can’t the jail time reflect the seriousness of the crime, rather than appearing as though you are apologising for having convicted them?

    What’s the use in acting tough before they are convicted and treating them with kid gloves once convicted?

    At some time, the offender is going to ask himself what’s the worst that could happen. When the authorities appear soft on the above, the decision isn’t so hard.

  2. bajanguyster October 31, 2015 at 8:52 am

    sometime people talk with they ass and not they head,you have a prison for about 1500 hundred which at this moment it is full ,now if you keep them in prison for 20 years would it not be full before 3month ?so let us build some more prisons all over the place,and when your daughters and sons do wrong hell put them up they for 20 years and that would fit something that the bible said cant be fix in this world ,i know i maybe talking foolishness but am not talking with my ass but head ,help who we can help going in to all the schools and deal with the young minds,take some of the prisoners to talk with these kids let them know crime don’t pay ,so if you all feel that keeping someone in prison for a million years will help do it and deal with the problem that will come from being in prison that long,you’ll try to fix one and something else open up

  3. Alex Alleyne October 31, 2015 at 9:14 am

    HIT THEM HARD . Now go to paragraph 6 .
    Need I say more ?????? .

  4. carson c cadogan October 31, 2015 at 9:17 am

    This deny bail to suspects is backwards thinking. It serves no real purpose. The Prison has limited space, where will we put all of these remanded people? There is already an out cry about the cost to the state of housing and feeding inmates.

    The Justice system in Barbados is pitifully slow. Only recently Bajan Judges got a tongue lashing from the CCJ about the slow pace of hearing cases in Barbados. Another chastising of the Bajan Justice system.

    What happens when we remand a suspect to prison for 10 years only to drop the charges against him? Or when the case is called he is found not guilty? How is he going to be compensated for all of those lost years of his life?

  5. carson c cadogan October 31, 2015 at 9:32 am

    This fella who is talking is really amusing. What is he doing to speed up the Justice system? Not much I think!!!

    And the pitifully slow pace of “Justice” continues in Barbados no matter which Political party is in office. The Bureaucrats ultimately in charge of the system are doing nothing to remedy the situation. For them it is always business as usual.

    When we were building our multi million dollar court houses in White Park I remember telling someone that it will make no difference to the dispensing of Justice in Barbados.

    If cases were dealt with on a more timely basis we would not have the problems that face us now.

  6. Tony Webster October 31, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    NOW can you understand why those “stupid” Amuricans elect their District Attorney’s? And recall / dump them when necessary. Mind you, that given the national angst, it’s within the realm of possibility…that someone higher up just picked up a phone…and suggested that such vacuous comments from our DPP might just be helpful in deflecting attention from falling on the one whose feet should be held to the fire. Just possible.

  7. jrsmith October 31, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Look who are the ones filling our jail, the minos, the low lifes, never the big criminal. never the protected .I would agree , the time should reflect on the crime. a senior policeman made a remark, as like the DPP,criminals out on bail, carry on committing crime, so stupid a remark, then Mr policeman and others ,with draw the bail conditions.

    My take , one of the bail conditions , 25% of the bail be paid in cash, no matter how large ,how small. the seizure of assets , If people choose a criminal path they should pay daily ,for they time in prison.

  8. mike October 31, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I hold the government reponsible for the level of crime in Barbados. 1, criminal acts are hurting our econmy financially
    2, I prefer to build more proson and take these criminals off the streets. It cost less to incarcerate them than to allow them to stop tourist and investors from stop investing and coming to our shores. 3, The justice system must be overhauled and justice must not be denied or delayed. Those civil servants in the justice system is seen as operating at the same level as the rest of the civil service. This is why I blame the government of the day. Get on with the job

  9. Stephen Cummins October 31, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Unless the judicial system is prepared to have a death penalty and carry out the execution order it is time for all professional talkers to shut up and sit down.


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