Defence attorney takes issue with alleged victim being in court
Ricky Kenneth Yearwood, of 3rd Avenue Grazettes, St Michael, appeared in court Wednesday, accused to committing several offences against one woman.
But even before the charges were read to the 45-year-old man in the No. 2 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court, his attorney Hal Gollop, QC took umbrage at the presence of the complainant in the courtroom.
“The presence of somebody who has not been called into this court runs the grave risk of offending the rule against bias and the right to a fair hearing,” Gollop said as he placed his objections.
However, police prosecutor Sergeant Janice Ifill argued that the complainant had a right to be present in the court at this time.
“This is a new charge and it is a charge against the person and on first appearance the complainant usually comes to court. It’s a new charge, we are not giving evidence today, Ma’am . . . It involves her . . . . She is here because she has a right to be here,” Ifill said.
But the veteran attorney described the argument as “spurious”.
Yearwood is charged with unlawfully and maliciously wounding Jameelia Wahid on October 8. He is also accused of damaging a motor van belonging to Wahid on the same day, as well as trespassing on her house with intent to inflict serious bodily harm on her.
He denied all three charges.
When time came for a bail application to be made, Sergeant Ifill objected on several grounds, including the seriousness of the offence, that the accused was already on bail from the No.1 District ‘A’ Court on similar matters involving the complainant, the need to ensure the safety of the complainant, and that if released on bail Yearwood might reoffend.
The prosecutor also felt that if the accused was granted bail he might abscond, noting that there was a wanted bulletin out for him in relation to the matters before the court.
In his submission, Gollop told the prosecutor: “Justice is what we seek in this court, regardless of which side you are on.”
He objected to the prosecutor’s reference to the police bulletin, describing it as unfair and pointing out that his client had presented himself to the police as soon as the wanted notice was released.
Gollop also described as “cliché” the prosecutor’s reference to the offences as “very serious matters”. He argued that every matter before the court was serious but there were various degrees of seriousness.
He also responded to the prosecution’s contention that Yearwood might abscond, saying that his client would abide by any measures the court imposed.
However, the bail application was denied by Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant.
Yearwood was remanded into custody at HMP Dodds until November 9.