A 52-year-old man, accused of three counts of serious indecency against a 13-year-old boy, was released on bail today.
The offences were allegedly committed by Jeffrey Harcourt Roach, of Manning Land, Bank Hall, St Michael, between September 11 last year and January 30 this year.
The prosecutor, Sergeant Cameron Gibbons, had objected to bail for the accused man based on the age of the alleged victim, the seriousness of the charges, the strength of the evidence against him and for the protection of the teenager.
However, Roach’s attorney Queens Counsel Andrew Pilgrim submitted that the charges were “bad for duplicity” as the second and third offences were identical to the first.
He further pointed out that in all the charges the word “acts” was plural and that the dates were also the same which “prevents an accused man from being able to answer to any of the charges”.
Pilgrim urged Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant to grant his client bail with conditions as he had no previous convictions for serious indecency.
“There will be no lawful basis to justify remand at this time . . . buttressed by the fact that there is nothing before you. Grant him bail at least until next week to see if this is something the Crown can repair,” Pilgrim
The prosecutor responded by asking for an amendment to the word “acts”, requesting that it be made singular on all three charges.
He revealed that while he was not in possession of all the facts of the cases, the offences had reportedly been committed at three different locations, namely Government Hill, Carlisle Car Park and Walmer Lodge.
However, Pilgrim argued that the amendments put forward by the prosecutor did not “cure” the application for bail as there were still “three different charges, within the same time, in three different places.
“It is not something you [the Crown] can defend because the charges are so vague,” Pilgrim insisted.
After weighing the submissions made by the two sides, Cuffy-Sargeant ruled that the amended charges would stand as no evidence had been given to show “any duplicity”.
After she was given the assurance that the alleged victim did not live in the same household as the accused, she granted him $8,000 bail with one surety.
Roach must however stay at least 100 yards away from the teenager and to report to the Black Rock Police Station every Tuesday and Thursday before noon with valid identification. He must also reside with his surety and inform the court of any plans to leave the jurisdiction.
He returns to court on June 11.