Court awaits re-evaluation of alleged burglar diagnosed with mental illness

Brittany Jno-Baptiste at yesterday’s court hearing
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By Latrishka Thomas

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There will be no trial as yet for the woman who is alleged to have unlawfully entered the home of homicide victim, Jane Finch, last October. Instead, she will remain behind the four walls of Her Majesty’s Prison pending a second psychiatric evaluation.

In late January, a report from the country’s lone psychiatrist, Dr James King, revealed that Brittany Jno-Baptiste has an undisclosed psychological disorder which renders her unfit to answer to the burglary charge levied against her.

In the report shared with the Court, the expert recommended that Jno-Baptiste should receive six months of treatment after which she will be re-evaluated and the case could potentially proceed.

The 21-year-old was therefore remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison to be treated, since the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital is said to be filled to capacity.

Jno-Baptiste returned to court yesterday for an update to be provided on her condition, but prosecutors from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions asked that the matter be adjourned until her recommended six months of treatment has ended.

The woman’s laywer, Wendel Robinson reprimanded the prosecution for having not spoken to the doctor prior to the hearing to “find out how she is progressing.”

He also spoke to the length of time it usually takes for the psychiatrist to provide a report.

“The administration of criminal justice is stifled because of Dr King,” he lamented.

Magistrate Ngaio Emanuel-Edwards then set June 20 as the date when the doctor should provide and official update on the defendant’s condition.

The defendant was reportedly found in Finch’s Piccadilly home on October 4, 2021. Finch, 66, was said to have been attacked and stabbed moments before with a knife and a sharp object, but Jno-Baptiste was only charged with burglary.

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