Pilgrim argues police abuse in bail application
Allegations of police abuse are very, very serious.
Those sentiments formed part of attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim’s bail application which he made on behalf of two men yesterday afternoon.
The Queen’s Counsel was speaking on behalf of Ramon Akeem Quarless, 24, of Harmony Hall, St Michael and 37-year-old Richarre Rossini Steve Angelo Martin, of no fixed address.
The pair had been accused of breaking and entering the Keith Royal building between August 8 and 12, and stealing among other items, eight shirts, eight pairs of sneakers and 20 hats, all to the tune of $2, 860. The property belonged to Alroy Gittens.
Additionally, Martin has been charged with stealing $8, 140 in goods belonging to Alroy Gittens and Keith Cumberbatch between August 6 and 7. The items included six shirts, 103 perfume oils and 52 necklaces.
Martin has a third charge of breaking into the George Maynard Memorial Hall and stealing a medical bag, two pairs of scissors, a cooler and ten packages of macaroni belonging to Calvary Moravian Church.
Prosecutor Station Sergeant Janice Ifill argued that neither accused should be granted bail.
She told the court that her objections were based on Martin’s 15 antecedents, the last of which was for a similar offence which had nothing to do with a charge of sacrilege in April this year for which he was currently on bail.
In relation to Quarless, Ifill explained that the nature of the matter before the court was serious. He had 11 priors, the last one in October 2015 when he was sentenced for loitering.
Along with the “redhandedness” of the offences, Ifill said if the men were granted bail, they would very likely reoffend. Quarless is also on bail, she said.
In his submission, Pilgrim took issue with the word “redhandedness”, stressing that as far as he was aware, “redhanded” meant that the person was “caught doing the crime”. That could not be the case, he said, if his clients were charged with committing the offences between one date and another “because they [the police] don’t even know when the place get brek”. Therefore, he asked the court to disregard that objection to bail since it was not a strong one.
Quarless, the lawyer conceded, had a drug habit and might very well reoffend but that being said, he was surprised to hear while on holiday that after being arrested his client subsequently had to see a doctor.
Ifill objected at that point and reminded the court that no such evidence was before the court; therefore if Pilgrim wanted to make a complaint, “he needs to go where he needs to go but this is not the forum”.
“It seems like he is still on holiday, Mam,” Ifill added.
Pilgrim responded by saying that he had a duty to bring that information before the court. Quarless said “he is innocent and was beaten while in custody”, the attorney said, remarking that his associate had seen swelling on Quarless’ hands.
Martin was “in a similar position” and knew nothing of these matters, Pilgrim added.
“He has noticeable injuries on and about his person which I have seen for myself.
“When people are taken into custody in good condition and then they leave with all kinds of injuries, it doesn’t look good on anybody. To say that it is a disgrace is an understatement,” he argued.
Magistrate Cuffy-Sargeant denied the bail application and remanded both men until September 12.