Parker family walks free

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After several days of attending the trial of relatives  with bated breath, anxious family members of the Parkers’ and friends of the accused finally learned the fate of the trio.

Yesterday, in the St. John’s Magistrates’ court, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh delivered her verdict in the case of Hezekiah Parker Jnr and his parents Hezekiah Parker Snr and Mary Cynthia Parker, and the judgment was in favour of the accused.

The three were relieved of all charges on the grounds of reasonable doubt.

The case dates back to 2016 when the police charged Parker Jnr with possession of a firearm and ammunition and obstruction while his mother was charged with maliciously damaging an officer’s shirt, obstructing and beating investigating officers.

Parker Snr, a retired policeman, was also charged with resisting arrest, obstruction and battery.

At the time of the incident, plain clothed officers said that they were in pursuit of Parker Jnr based on information received and acted on when they reached his home.

They said when the suspect saw them, he ran from the vehicle onto the gallery where a brawl between the family and three officers took place.

Parker Jnr reportedly had a loaded 9mm pistol on his person but no evidence of such was presented in court.

In Monday’s trial, a heated stand-off took place between the defence and prosecution.

The prosecution reiterated that the case was simple and stated that the defence’s evidence was shaky.

The defence, however, demanded proof beyond a reasonable doubt and said that the case could not even pass a smell test.

Chief Magistrate Walsh said her problem was with the prosecution’s three lead witnesses who were the police officers involved in the incident on December 11, 2016.

She said that certain procedures were not followed and based on the evidence presented there was no firearm in young Parker’s possession.

The evidence merely stated that the gun was presented to the accused at the Police Headquarters and this was a key finding that led to yesterday’s verdict.

Though the Parkers were released of all charges for the summary offences, Parker Snr is set to stand before the court again for his committal hearing on June 5, for allegedly discharging a firearm on the day of the incident.

That is an indictable offence that has to be tried in the High Court.

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