More delays in Vincia James murder trial, five years on

Vincia James has not been seen since April 2017. Mikhail Gomes denies murder
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By Latrishka Thomas

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Despite the matter involving the alleged murder of Vincia James being on the docket for several years, it still will not be proceeding to trial until closer to the end of the year.

Five years ago, on April 7 2017, James disappeared without a trace.

The mother-of-one, from New Winthorpes, was last seen on surveillance camera leaving her Old Parham Road workplace, Dixie Operations Ltd, shortly after 1pm on the day in question.

And even after several island-wide searches had been conducted, her body has never been found.

Sometime after her disappearance, James’ ex-boyfriend Mikhail Gomes was charged with murder.

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

Additional evidence appeared to have been discovered 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”.

The trial was initially scheduled to begin last year, but has been adjourned on several occasions.

Now, Gomes will not be standing trial until October 3 2022.

The murder accused is presently out on bail after a High Court judge granted him temporary freedom in 2020.

Justice Iain Morley granted Gomes 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 collateral worth that amount to the court.

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

The prosecution had feverishly fought for Gomes to be denied bail.

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