Criminal cases top Supreme Court list of appeals

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A high number of criminal appeals against conviction and sentencing in the High Court and Magistrates’ Courts are docketed for hearing this week when the itinerant Supreme Court sits in Antigua & Barbuda.
Out of 87 cases on the final list dated May 26, 40 are criminal appeals, and out of that, several involve men convicted of sexual offences and two police officers convicted of armed robbery.
The appellants include David Daniel who was convicted of serious indecency, George Baron who was convicted for having sex with a minor, Verbin Bowen who is serving time for rape, Ronald Samuel – a rape and buggery convict and Joseph Charles who was convicted of indecent assault, which is a sexual offence.
Ex-cops Dave Roacher and Alexis Thomas are appealing their conviction for separate armed robberies committed when they were still members of the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda.
Roacher had broken into the Whenner Road home of someone he knows, and robbed the woman of a gold necklace. The court had heard that Roacher was armed with a gun at the time of the attack.
He was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in jail.
While, Thomas stormed into Paradise Casino with a gun and robbed the workers of the evening’s earnings. However, a fellow officer, who recognised Thomas, shot him before he could escape. At the time of the incident, Thomas was also an employee at the Casino who provided security there.
His sentence was 23 years in prison.
Other cases down for “status hearings” include appeals by convicts Kaniel Martin who had filed a challenge to his triple murder conviction in relation to the killing of UK couple Benjamin and Dr Catherine Mullany and Woneta Anderson; the case of Georgette Aaron, who was convicted for crimes linked to the Mullany murders; and Jevorny Richards who is serving time for the murder of Rondel George.
Attorney Ralph Francis yesterday commented that many of these cases date back several years and one of the main challenges is that the court has to prepare the trial records with very limited tools and staff.
He said it is already known that a number of the matters would be adjourned this week due to unfinished transcripts of trial proceedings.

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