Magistrate Douglas Frederick preferred to remand a St Philip man for his own safety rather than let him return to his neighbourhood.
The Bridgetown magistrate made this decision after an injured Dave Fidel Aristide James, of Brereton, came before him earlier today, accused of robbing Lamar Thompson of a $20 chain, a cellular phone and $339 on February 3.
Station Sergeant Neville Watson objected to bail based on James’ antecedents of robbery and theft, the fact that police were still investigating the matter and seeking another person, and his fear that releasing the accused might frustrate those efforts.
Responding, attorney at law Sydney Pinder said his client had suffered serious injuries at the hands of some persons. “When you analyse the facts, there seems to be a major imbalance in what has come before the court,” he contended.
When Magistrate Frederick asked the accused what those injuries were, he said he had been attacked by about 15 men, stabbed in the chest (just above his heart) and in the back, and had a few lacerations to his head.
“In the interest of justice and fair play, he ought to be given bail,” Pinder said, since he was clearly the one who had borne the brunt of whatever had taken place.
‘He suffered so many injuries and yet he was the person robbing?’ Pinder continued.
Speaking to James’ mother, the magistrate expressed regret for her son’s injuries but explained even though he had considered the prosecutor’s objection to bail, he had moreso considered James’ safety.
‘He needs to be protected by the court. If 15 fellows really attacked him, then it means his safety is in jeopardy and the only way to guarantee his safety is to keep him on remand,’ Frederick explained.
The mother explained that something has been going on for about ‘four years’ but asked that her son be allowed bail, even if a curfew could be attached.
‘Ask yourself what would lighten your heart more? That he comes back here from prison or don’t come back at all?’ the magistrate asked.
He then mentioned that medical attention for James could be provided at HMP Dodds and urged the prosecutor to ‘talk to the investigators and get to the bottom of the matter.’
James’ case was adjourned until March 17.