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I object!

DPP takes umbrage to being summoned by Justice Beckles

courtIn an unprecedented move, the Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, QC, was summoned to appear in court today as a witness in a joint court action brought against the Attorney General and the DPP.

The claimant, Frank Errol Gibson, is claiming damages in excess of $2 million in the lawsuit filed against the State.

And while the DPP came, there was no hiding his displeasure at being called as a witness in the matter being heard before Madam Justice Pamela Beckles in the No. 8 Supreme Court.

“I take serious exception to being issued as a witness,” said a visibly upset Leacock, after he was ordered to appear in connection with the legal suit brought by Frank Gibson against the State for breach of his constitutional rights.

It was back on November 8, 2012 when the DPP discontinued the case against Gibson, who was accused of murdering Francine Bolden, on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to make out a case beyond reasonable doubt.

Gibson was freed after spending a decade on remand for the death of Bolden of Pot House, St John, who was killed sometime between January 15 and 16, 2002.

He has since sued the State and the DPP, claiming that he was wrongfully charged, imprisoned and prosecuted for Bolden’s murder.

Today, when his legal challenge came up for hearing, Gibson’s attorney Larry Smith refused to give any quarter to the DPP, as he attempted to address the bench.

“The learned Director [of Public Prosecutions] has been summoned here . . . as a witness. Therefore, given the peculiar circumstances . . . [the DPP does not have] any right to address you in relation to the matter,” said Smith.

 “If it is the learned Director’s position that he has fired the Solicitor General [as his legal representative] and he is now representing himself in the matter, then, in those circumstances, [let] the record reflect that,” Smith continued, arguing strongly that the DPP had no “locus standi” in the case, except to address the judge from the witness box.

However, Smith’s position did not sit well with the DPP, who countered him saying: “Every defendant has a constitutional right before this court to appear in person and make submissions with or without counsel or co-counsel”.

He also described Smith’s argument as “the most obtuse” submission ever made to the court, while arguing that “no one can stop the right of a person to address this court, especially when he is a . . . defendant in a criminal or civil matter”.

After a lengthy back and forth in the courtroom, in the full view of the young attorneys present, Justice Beckles would intervene to issue this warning:

“Listen to me, both of you are going to behave yourselves, or I am going to step off this bench . . . do you understand me? I am not tolerating this nonsense,” she said, even as she suggested how the matter could be approached in order to reach an amicable solution.

It would be sometime later before the DPP would again take to his feet, arguing that the court had been “misled” in terms of the witness summons, which he claimed was obtained through “deceit”.

“My Lady I find it very unfortunate your recent pronouncements. In light of the exchange you have had  . . . I believe the only application I can make . . . is that you recuse yourself for these proceedings,”  Leacock said as he accused the court of impropriety in its issuance of the witness summons.

The DPP made it clear that he had “no confidence” in Justice Beckles to continue with the trial even though she said she had acted based on the information presented to her last week.

“I am not confident that the defendant and the attorney general can get a fair trial in light of the exchange,” the DPP added.

Earlier, the Deputy Solicitor General, Donna Brathwaite, QC, had said that she had objected to the summons since it was issued to a “post” and not a “person”.

She further indicated to the court that she saw no need for Justice Beckles to recuse herself.

The matter was adjourned until tomorrow.

12 Responses to I object!

  1. dave June 14, 2016 at 6:22 am

    Total incompetence. these people have reduced Barbados to JUNK and hignorant citizens -lazy as they are —like um so !! blind in one eye and cannot see out of the other.

  2. BaJan boy June 14, 2016 at 7:44 am

    it is really a very disgraceful situation in our country when all of these incompetent small fries who get a position that is bigger than them think they are bigger than our justice system or our country. This behavior is consistent with that of the PM the Attorney General,the CJ, the Minister of finance and others. Time is longer than twine. Sure he would prefer to sip cocktails with the whites who he is always up in than to work in the interest of our country. Then again this is not his country and we have so many more intelligent Attorneys that he should have never been there in the first place.

  3. Carson C Cadogan June 14, 2016 at 8:36 am

    “……….the court had been “misled” in terms of the witness summons, which he claimed was obtained through “deceit”.”

    How does something like this happen?

    “……..obtained through “deceit”? Is this a regular occurrence with regards to summons???

  4. Donild Trimp June 14, 2016 at 9:02 am

    This Attorney General thinks he is more important than the Madam Justice and the court system in Barbados? smh!!!!

    Mr. Leacock if you think you are bigger than the justice system in Barbados, then let me say this right now, Barbados can do without people like you.

    How about applying for the job of Attorney General in Guyana and go back there and disrespect the Justices there.

    You can display your arrogance and disrespect for the bench in Guyana however you choose to.

  5. recoanthony June 14, 2016 at 9:57 am


  6. Sue Donym June 14, 2016 at 10:16 am

    If it pleases the DPP – or not – we the people take offence to the disrespect shown for the justice system by judicial officers.

    Did the DPP appear for the sole purpose of objecting to the validity of the summons or the process by which it was received? If not, get on with the business of the court. A man has brought an action based on 10 years of perceived wrongful imprisonment and we witness another display of time wasting and insignificant technicalities amounting to no more than pompasetting! Might it have happened before that the DPP was not very helpful in expediting matters involving him or his ‘post’?

    If random members of the public had a say about his post, it might be surprising who else might quickly want their day in court!
    (Actually, I think some have above, with some restraint)

  7. Brimstone June 14, 2016 at 11:57 am

    This DPP should have been replaced a long time ago. You get what you tolerate…….
    Just another case of total disrespect for law and order……….. Ohhh, isn’t he an Officer of the Court(senior, albeit) ????????????

  8. Jus me June 14, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    DPP Leacock.
    Yes I agree needs an urgent repatriation.Check he underwear for corn beef.
    I hear he does jus LUV ole meat.

    Seriously tho isnt he the same DPP Leacock that instigated the Police finger rape of a tenant of his that owed he some rent?
    The same DPP that fixed two court hearing to let two murderers get off with light sentences and a manslaughter charge.

    Book he ticket now, we need him like we need syphilis.

  9. Donild Trimp June 14, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I am so mad at this DPP and his arrogance that I mistakingly referred to him as Attorney General in an earlier posting.

  10. Rev. Winston Jones June 14, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    This is a travesty of justice. How can a person be arrested and imprisoned for ten years on suspicion of guilt? The system is set up for the police to do whatever investigations are necessary, secure what evidence is needed, and when the evidence is enough THEN arrest and bring charges against against a suspect who is presumed innocent until the charge has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. To have served ten years is tantamount to a “free’ conviction without it having been proven in the Court. It is frightening that a citizen can be imprisoned for ten years on a suspicion of guilt. Why have courts of law then if this is the way the citizens are treated? This is wrong and I sincerely hope that Mr. Smith wins this suit because a message must be sent to the Office of the DPP and the DPP himself, that he has to respect the rights to citizens under the very law he seeks to defend in his prosecutions.

  11. Jus me June 15, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I should like to seriously suggest that BARBADOS TODAY
    takes note that almost never is there any positive attitude express by its readership towards the actions or attitudes of the DPP of our beloved Barbados , Charles Lacock.
    I suggest as a public service and an opportunity to the average Barbadian to have a voice that will be heard to arrange a poll publically in its pages, asking ALL OF IT’S READERSHIP,

  12. Donna Harewood June 16, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Ten years on remand and the case dismissed for lack of evidence! It would serve us all well to stop and think that this could happen to any of us. What is going on with our injustice system? Instead of getting in a huff about technicalities we would like DPP and all others culpable in this case to give us some answers. Don’t know if the man is innocent or not but that is beside the point. This should probably have been settled if 2m is all that’s being demanded but maybe it is better for us to see exactly how awful our system actually is.


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