A staff nurse at the Psychiatric Hospital, accused of assault, was granted $15,000 bail when he appeared in a Bridgetown court today.
Jason Jamal Phillips, 32, of Block 1C, Maddison Terrace, Deacons Farm, St Michael, who has been suspended from his duties, appeared before Magistrate Douglas Frederick this morning where he denied unlawfully and maliciously wounding Alden King, a patient at the Black Rock Hospital on June 2.
Prosecutor Sergeant Rudy Pilgrim stated that he had no objections to bail at this time as Phillips “up to Saturday was a nurse”, had no previous convictions and was never before the court.
The Crown’s representative further revealed that King was a patient at the Black Rock institution and was in the care of the hospital at the time of the incident, which was caught on video and posted on social media.
Frederick therefore questioned the prosecutor on his reasons for not objecting to bail given that Phillips was in a position of “trust and confidence”.
“This is a matter [where] the public [will become] so incensed by that allegation that he might be in danger and that his protection might be necessary,” the magistrate said.
However, Pilgrim said that after examining the charge, he concluded that the accused, who had no previous convictions, posed no flight risk.
“For a person in a position of trust and confidence of a patient?” Magistrate Frederick asked, adding; “ I have heard you’ll [the prosecution] say for simple allegations ‘the nature and seriousness of the charge, for the protection of the public and for his protection as well’, but nothing of the sort today.”
“This is one that the public will be very concerned about because he was placed in a position of trust and confidence of a person that he was in charge of.
“None of these submissions are being raised here, so I had to raise them,” Frederick added.
However Pilgrim assured the magistrate that he was not downplaying the issue. However, he said he had spoken to his superiors on the matter and the Crown had no objections at this time.
The magistrate then accepted Phillips’ surety and ordered him to report to the Black Rock Police Station every Wednesday by 10 a.m. with valid identification.
It was at that time that King’s attorney, John Collymore, got to his feet and informed the magistrate that he was there on a “watch and brief”.
Collymore submitted that while he had “no difficulty” with bail, he was requesting that Phillips not only stays away from King, but also from the premises of the mental health institution as he was unsure as to the length of time the accused would be on suspension.
However, Phillips’ legal counsel Naomi Lynton said while she had no objections to the first submission, her client would have to return to the hospital at some point at management’s request in connection with the alleged incident.
Frederick enforced the order for Phillips to stay away from the victim and also extended it to his family. However, he said that there were protocols in place to that would guide Phillips when he was required at the facility.
The case was then adjourned until October 23.