Lock up the mom, prosecutor says

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A crown prosecutor is recommending that the police should charge a mother for allegedly lying about critical information in a sex complaint that led to a man being charged and dragged through the court for more than a year for allegedly having sex with her daughter.
Prosecutor Adlai Smith, says the woman attempted to pervert the course of justice, setting off a chain of events that negatively impacted someone’s life for a long time.
“She has caused the accused in this matter to suffer unnecessarily for whatever clandestine motive she may have. It is my firm view that when conduct such as this raises its head, it must be dealt with and dealt with severely. Otherwise the system of justice will fall into disrepute and the citizenry will not have confidence in it,” Smith stated.
He is talking about the case in which a 53 year old media personality was accused of having sex with a girl said to be under 16 years of age.
This week, that matter eventually ended with Smith’s withdrawal of the indictment when it came up for trial in the High Court before Justice Iain Morley.
The charge stemmed from the circulation of an audio file of the girl’s voice, along with the man’s, was leaked. And, the duo was heard negotiating the cost the man should pay for sex, while the girl reminded the individual that he’s the older of the two.
When the investigation started, the girl told police she was 15 years old at the time of the incident which she said happened in 2016. 
And she indicated also that she was born in late 2000 to further support her claim of being 15.
However, Smith says a second statement was made to the police a year later, in which the child gave her correct age and explained why she lied in the first place. 
Smith reported, “The complainant told the police that her mother told her to say that her birthday was in December 2000 ‘because the police wouldn’t have done anything about it and that is because my sister and I are old’. She also gave her correct date of birth in that second statement as December 1999.”
Prosecutor Smith says it appears that when the police charged the man, they relied on the initial statement of age and not evidence of a birth certificate of the child who was not born in Antigua and Barbuda.
The defence lawyer, Ralph Francis also says when he learned the child was born in 1999, he raised the issue that she had reached the age of consent and he asked Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh to dismiss the matter which was before her, but she did not.
Instead, she sent the case to the High Court for trial.
Smith, who offered no evidence when the matter came up for trial in the High Court earlier this week, says it was the ethical/correct thing for him to do and he advised the court as to the reason it had to be withdrawn.
Meanwhile, he says that before any matter proceeds to committal, the file has to be approved by the office of the DPP and in this case the file was sent and stamped as having arrived. 
But, Smith said he had “nothing” to do with the review or vetting of the file.
Smith reiterated that the woman’s actions caused the accused sex offender to suffer unnecessarily “for whatever clandestine motive she may have had.”

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