The last thing acting Principal Crown Counsel Lancelot Applewaithe reminded his boss on Wednesday afternoon, was that he was leaving work early to attend a friend’s funeral.
As he left to do so, Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock, Q.C. never thought that would be the last time he would see Applewaithe alive.
The 63-year-old prosecutor reportedly died this morning at his home.
Applewaithe joined the Office of Public Prosecutions in January 2008 as Crown Counsel, before moving to the position of Principal Crown Counsel in 2013.
Leacock described his colleague as one whose “written word was exceptionally good and his appearances in court admirable.”
He also remarked that Applewaithe was “particularly active in Chamber matters and was instrumental in expediting voluntary bills [cases where accused ask to have their cases go directly a judge and jury; thereby eliminating a preliminary].
“His quiet demeanour belied his firmness and forcefulness and he brought clarity to bail applications and restraint proceedings,” Leacock continued.
“The entire department is shocked by his untimely demise and on behalf of the department and myself, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to his family.”
For acting Magistrate Alliston Seale, Applewaithe had “a most affable personality.”
Seale recalled Applewaithe appearing before him in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court No.2 only yesterday in a paper committal matter and another case. “So it was most shocking to get up this morning and get a call saying that he had passed,” Seale said.
“It just shows the fragility of life,” Seale added, as he recalled travelling and working with Applewaithe on a matter before the Caribbean Court of Justice as recently as December.
“All we can do is be the best that we can be and give of our best; and that’s it,” Seale concluded.
Magistrate Graveney Bannister said although he worked “only briefly” with Applewaithe on those occasions when the late attorney came before him, he found that “he had a sense of humour and a quiet disposition.”
“I can only remember his family, friends and colleagues in my prayers and may he rest in peace,” Bannister concluded.
Prior to joining the Office of Public Prosecutions, Applewaithe spent several years in private practice at Fitzwilliam, Stone and Alcazar and with Reece Associates.