Outspoken attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim, QC, today took another swipe at Barbados’ justice system as he made a strong appeal for the dismissal of two serious charges against one of his clients.
Stephen Michael Leroy Stuart, of 11C Rosemont, Deacons Road, St Michael, is accused of inflicting serious bodily harm on Dereck Jones on July 9, 2016 with intent to maim, disfigure or disable him. He is also facing the indictable charge of using a firearm without a valid licence.
He has been on remand at HMP Dodds since August 3, 2016.
When the matter came up before Magistrate Douglas Frederick today the prosecution requested that the case be adjourned.
However, this did not sit well with Pilgrim who pointed out that the complainant had informed the court that he was no longer interested in proceeding with the matter.
“I could be mistaken, [but could] someone point to me [or] tell me the case that was done in this country of wounding without a complainant. This is a fallacy that we do to lock up people,” Pilgrim charged.
He also pointed out that the second charge was use of a firearm and not possession of the actual weapon.
“In other words “we ain’t got [no] gun.
“So the question then becomes, how are you going to prove that this firearm was used by this man to shoot someone who is saying ‘I am not proceeding against this person [and] not giving any evidence for whatever’?”
He appealed to the magistrate to dismiss the case, while suggesting that it could be relodged by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“There is no remedy to give back Stephen Stuart the time he up in prison losing the colour off of his face . . . we cannot give him back these days from August to January . . . relodge it please!”
Pilgrim argued that the same should be done in Stuart’s case as had been done in matters involving police officers accused of “shooting people” whose victims had come to the court to have those matters dismissed.
“How do you justify doing it for a police [officer] and not for another person?” Pilgrim asked.
“What kind of person would I be if I sit by and watch a system that says, ‘I will unjustly lock you up in circumstances I know I have no real right or authority so to do’? This is an insult to the intelligence of the Barbadian people and I don’t know why I didn’t make the submissions [before]. It means that I am obviously sleeping on the job too, because I have come to accept these things as normal and reasonable and fair.
“So what is it that we are doing? Anybody please show me the justice in this that will make this seem like the right way to be practising law, running a court, running a prosecution,” he said.
The prominent attorney again asked that the matter be dismissed in order for the prosecution to “soberly reflect on how to do a wounding case without the victim.”
The matter was adjourned until February 8, 2017.