Police constable walks free following dismissal of case

court matters
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By Theresa Goodwin

[email protected]

The Police Constable, who was charged with having sexual intercourse with a minor in May 2013 has returned to active duty at the police headquarters after the seven-year-old case against him was dismissed recently in the court.

His Attorney, Wendel Robinson, revealed on the weekend that the officer was reinstated after the virtual complainant, who is now an adult, said she no longer wished to continue with the legal proceedings against the accused.

It also follows a mini-inquiry that was conducted by Justice Morley QC to determine the whereabouts of the officer’s case file that apparently went missing.

“During the time when the matter came up before the Judge, the Magistrate Court was able to retrieve a copy of the file that was in the police archive.

That was sent to the High Court so that the matter could be indicted.

“The officer was indicted.  However, during that time, the virtual complainant requested no further action in the matter. She is now matured and no longer wishes to procced with the matter,” the attorney said.

The case came up in court recently, months after the Attorney made it public that he will be petitioning the court, on the behalf of his client, to have the matter thrown out on the grounds that the officer’s constitutional right to a fair trial had been breached.

In early December, Robinson indicated his intention to file the constitutional motion against the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police Commissioner. He accused the three high-profile individuals of breaching Section 15 of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda, which speaks to a person’s right to a fair trial within a reasonable time.

The lawyer said that his client attended all his hearings and was committed to stand trial since October 2014, and to date, he had not received a trial, never received his deposition, which apparently went missing.

Meanwhile, Robinson went on to explain that following this most recent development, and in consultation with his client, they have decided to withdraw the constitutional motion.

“My Client has achieved what he wanted to achieve, which was to return to work. It is recognised that the matter has been very long in the system, and he would have been sufficiently punished. I was very happy when I saw him back on the job at the police headquarters,” Robinson said.

According to the lawyer, the officer, whose name cannot be mentioned due to the nature of the offence, will also be entitled to receive a portion of his salary that was been withheld pending the outcome of the court case.

Despite the changes in the development of the case, the noted attorney also explained that his client had good grounds to file the constitutional motion on the abuse of the process and the breach of his constitutional rights.

“When a person files a constitutional motion, it is not a question of guilt or innocence. It is a question of the process, and whether or not the process used by the judicial system or by the police was abused, or whether or not his constitutional rights were infringed,” Robinson explained.

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