When the five men accused of murdering Charley Dume appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court today, attorney for three of them, Arthur Holder, spoke strenuously about the lack of a file to date.
The five, all residents of St Lucy, are Andre “Lord Evil” Jackman, 35 of Stroud Bay, Crab HiIl, Ryan Omar Samuel, 34, Shane Hakeem Omar Babb, 23 and Rory St. Clair Thomas, 27, of Grape Hall. The last is Zavier Renaldo Walkes, 27 of Archer’s Road, Crab Hill.
Dume was shot at a Nelson Street bar on April 26 last year.
Holder raised the issue of the lack of a file, before acting Magistrate Alliston Seale. He referred to a recent murder matter where “in the space of two months, a file could be ready to commence a trial” while the case involving the five accused “has been engaging the court’s attention for more than a year”.
Holder stressed that the file existed somewhere between “the Commissioner of Police and the learned DPP [Director of Public Prosecutions]”.
He added that he had applied to the High Court on May 5 for bail for Jackman and the judge had given “certain instructions” to the prosecutor with regard to the readying, copying and handing over of the file which, Holder said, Principal Crown Counsel Lancelot Applewaite “read exhaustively from”.
That file was to be handed over by the Thursday, which “came and it went”; by May 11, the prosecutor told the judge that he was no longer in possession of the file.
“A year and 24 days after, a file is not available Sir . . . All I’m asking is if there really is a file and if it is completed?”
The acting magistrate responded by telling the attorney that he had canvassed those issues “in a court of superior jurisdiction” and, as he was aware, a magistrate has less power than a judge.
Seale also reminded Holder that the public had made a “hue and cry” about that other case, as to when someone would be charged so “you can’t have it both ways”. He added that sometimes those who work within the system and know better “should put them [members of the public] to silence rather than stoke the fire.”
“It is about justice and the perception of justice,” Holder stressed, “. . . what is good for the Jews ought to be good for the Gentiles . . . Why a file would linger down here so long before it could get up there, (before the DPP) and another file could get up there in a hurry?”
The lawyer added that it ought not to appear as though some people could remain in jail two years without there being a “rush to start” their trial.
Holder is representing accused Samuels and Walkes, as well as Jackman.
Attorney-at-law Allan Carter, who is representing Babb, endorsed Holder’ comments, adding his own concern that there seemed to be a file available to the prosecution, but there was “no file for the defence”.
The accused men were remanded until June 23, and left the courtroom under the usual tight security.
Along with the usual clearing of the courtyard, Jackman left ahead of his co-accused and was escorted by two prison officers, while police officers with rifles followed and preceded him.
So far, only accused Thomas is out on bail while three others are awaiting approval of, or signatures from their sureties.