Police yet to receive Coroner’s report on Shemar’s case

Police are yet to receive a report from the Coroner following her decision to send the probe into the unnatural death of 12-year-old Shemar Weekes back to them for further investigation.

The late Shemar Weekes.
The late Shemar Weekes.

However, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Charles Leacock, QC, told Barbados TODAY that the ball could end up in his court.

Following a two-month inquest into Weekes’ death, which a forensic pathologist had ruled a suicide, Coroner Manila Renee said earlier this month that she had found evidence of a prima facie case that a crime had been committed, and would therefore be putting the matter back into lawmen’s hands. Weekes was found hanging at his Fryers Well, Checker Hall, St Lucy home on May 14, 2015.

Up to this afternoon when a check was made by Barbados TODAY, Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith had not yet received the report, even though when Renee announced her decision on August 22, she had promised to dispatch the report – without a final verdict – that same week.

While admitting that he had not seen the Coroner’s report either, the DPP said this afternoon that the matter could be referred to him to determine if criminal charges should be brought against anyone if, in fact, a prima facie case had been found by the Coroner.

“The police can actually send it to me, if that is what she [Coroner Manila Renee] said . . . or if, as I understand it, she is saying they [police] should investigate more. They can do both . . . investigate along the particular line which she might have indicated should be investigated and then send it back to her, or if they have enough [evidence] they can send it to me,” he explained to Barbados TODAY.

Leacock outlined other steps which the Coroner and police could take in handling the matter.

“The police would have submitted a complete file to her. If she, having examined it, thinks there are certain areas in which they should concentrate their lines of investigation, that’s quite proper. They will do that and then they can send it back to her for her to determine if . . . she could make up her mind one way or the other,” he explained.

The DPP added that in a case where there was doubt about whether the Coroner could come to a decision based on what was before her, she could return an open verdict.

“And in that case, the police would be obliged to keep the file open, and if any new evidence comes forward, well then it could be put back before the Coroner. If you get overwhelming evidence it could be sent to me to determine if a criminal prosecution could be brought,” Leacock said.

Weekes’ death at the home he shared with his mother Julieanne Weekes and his younger brother came against the backdrop of claims by his great-aunt Clarista Mabel Daniel that he had been subjected to physical abuse at the hands of his mother over a period of time.

In her report last week Monday, the Coroner said that the “discrepancies, inconsistencies and contradictions” in the evidence of the deceased boy’s mother and his stepfather, Shawn Greaves were among the main reasons for sending the case back to the police.


4 Responses to Police yet to receive Coroner’s report on Shemar’s case

  1. Hal Austin September 1, 2016 at 4:24 am

    This seems rather professional. But when will the Guyana-born DPP and the listing office bring suspended police officer Gittens to trial. Is he on full pay?
    What is causing the delay in the DPP’s and Listing office?
    What about the police officer questioned over suspicion of smuggling bullets in to the country. This is prima facie a criminal offence. Why was he not arrested and charged? Is he too suspended.
    Given that magistrates recently remanded a retired priest aged in his 70s in Dodds for a similar offence.
    We also have a new Barbadian, who shot his son, was not charged because the Guyana-born DPP decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
    In any other jurisdiction, since the only witness had been killed, that decision would have been left to the jury.
    The rule of law is in crisis in Barbados, and our prime minister is a former attorney general.

  2. Tony Webster September 1, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    @Hal A. Hard to find an appropriate adjective to properly describe such exquisite fast-bowling. Let’s just say that I would not wish to take up the crease opposite you.

    Only other thing to which I might metaphorically bare my bosom, is that when one looks over the passing parade going back , say, the last decade or two, it is inescapable to avoid the conclusion that we have invented a form of slow-motion, national Hari-Kari. At least, those who invented this form of self-penalty, have a higher value of morality. We liberated, modern, and civilised folks, are more comfortable sweeping such under that accommodating, comfortable, and convenient, “national carpet”- for which no-one is responsible for cleaning.

    Perhaps, all that is required, is to add such just to the ever-lengthening list of things to be “wrestled to the ground”,

  3. Sue Donym September 1, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Please tell us who was on holiday, causing the documents to not be delivered; or was it a lack of ink (as reportedly happened with a recent enquiry in Guyana); or maybe ‘the system’ was down. I’d be shocked if it were not one of these reasons. Lest we forget Barbados is all of 166 square miles and who knows how long it should take a whole file to traverse this land… I’m sure the AG, Family and Social Care ministers are ‘concerned’.

  4. Joy September 1, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Hal needs to get his facts straight. The man was charged, tried, convicted and sentenced in relation to the death of his son. Just because you didn’t like the charge doesn’t mean he wasn’t prosecuted.


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