After several bail applications and four months on remand, Ricky Kenneth Yearwood of 3rd Avenue Grazettes, St Michael, was finally granted his freedom today, but not without some stringent conditions.
His release came after a hard fought battle between prominent attorney Hal Gollop, QC, and police prosecutor Sergeant Janice Ifill in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
Yearwood is charged with unlawfully and maliciously wounding Jameelia Wahid on October 8 and damaging a motor van belonging to her, as well as trespassing in her house with intent to inflict serious bodily harm on her.
He denied all three charges when he made his first court appearance and has been on remand since October 12.
As they have on previous occasions, Gollop and Ifill were today engaged in a legal tussle that had the court’s full attention.
Ifill held her ground against the veteran lawyer as she again argued for Yearwood to “remain where he is”, while Gollop urged Magistrate Douglas Frederick to give his client “another chance” at freedom.
In her submissions, Sergeant Ifill conceded that Yearwood’s charge was not a “high level” serious bodily harm case and, as such, the accused man had a right to bail like any other person charged with an offence.
However, she added, “it becomes more serious when the complainant is the same” and that the time-span between two of the charges was three months.
“Yes, he has a right to bail, but that’s not an absolute right,” argued Ifill who insisted that Yearwood be denied bail on the grounds that he was also currently on bail from the No. 1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court and had been warned to stay away from Wahid’s residence.
“Subsequent to the accused being granted bail . . . he again appeared in Criminal Court No. 2 and, without going into the facts, . . . [the] serious bodily harm [charge occurred] at the complainant’s residence.
“We fear that if granted bail he will interfere with the virtual complainant. [We] believe . . . in the interest of [all those involved] that the accused man [should] remain where he is until the matter is properly ventilated,” the prosecutor said.
However, Gollop argued that the case was a summary matter that would be heard before the magistrates’ court.
“It is not an ordinary wounding matter, Your Worship. . . . It involves matters of the heart . . . inflamed passions,” the Queen’s Counsel said.
He again informed the court that his client would adhere to any conditions imposed on him, even as he revealed that Yearwood had not only moved out of the home he shared with Wahid but the area altogether.
Gollop was also adamant that allegations were not facts, and his client had denied committing the offence and was innocent until
“He is not a saint as his antecedents would demonstrate, but that does not mean he is unredeemable. He deserves a chance to say ‘I can reform myself’. I implore Your Worship to give him a chance to redeem himself . . . that justice is served by giving him a chance,” the veteran attorney said.
Magistrate Frederick pointed out to Yearwood that he had given him such a chance on the last occasion when he was granted bail.
At the same time, he acknowledged, “this is a mere allegation, I agree . . . Matters of the heart sometimes go beyond logic . . . but the ball is in your court.”
Yearwood was then granted $10,000 bail with one surety and will appear in the No. 2 Magistrates’ Court on February 3.
However, Frederick warned him not to venture near Wahid’s residence or that of the business the two shared in Black Rock, St Michael, pointing out to Yearwood that while he was incarcerated the business continued without his input.
Yearwood must also report to a police station every Wednesday by 10 a.m.