Man accused of murdering missing woman to be tried after five years

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Mikhail Gomes is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Vincia James (File photos)
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By Latrishka Thomas

[email protected]

More than five years after the disappearance of a young mother-of-one her alleged murderer will be standing trial.

The trial against Mikhail Gomes – who is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Vincia James in 2017 – was set to start yesterday but the matter was adjourned to May 3 at which time the judge set to preside over the matter, Justice Colin Williams, will be back in the jurisdiction.

Justice Williams was recently appointed judge in the BVI for a two-month period. Justice Stanley John is currently handling some of his cases.

James, from New Winthorpes, was last seen on surveillance camera leaving her Old Parham Road workplace, Dixie Operations Ltd, shortly after 1pm on April 7 2017.

Since then, there have been several island-wide searches for her but her body has never been found.

Gomes denies killing her, but prosecutors believe there is enough circumstantial evidence to proceed with a trial.

In October 2021, it was said that a fisherman found James’ identification cards in a pond in the North Sound area.

The police, though not confirming what was found, told Observer at the time that they were  “carefully and professionally examining the new developments with a view to bring this matter to a successful closure”.

In 2020, Gomes, of Pigotts, received bail in the High Court despite strong opposition from the prosecution.

 Justice Iain Morley granted him bail in the amount of $200,000 which was secured by a $40,000 cash deposit to the court.

Gomes, alongside two sureties, had to surrender to the court collateral worth that sum.

He was ordered to report each day to the St John’s Police Station and is subject to a 9pm to 5am curfew until the case is concluded.

The judge’s reason for releasing him pending trial was due, he said, to repeated delays to the defendant’s case, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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