Something which Gary O’Brian Chandler told his surety came back to haunt him today, just as he was on the verge of being granted bail.
Chandler, 25, who resides at Parish Land, Christ Church, was before Magistrate Douglas Frederick on two charges – unlawfully wounding Constable Rommel Downes on February 7 and entering Norma Howell’s house as a trespasser and making off with a $150 pair of shoes. He was not required to plead to the first charge and he denied the second one.
The prosecutor objected to Chandler getting bail, based on his antecedents which show he has a propensity for the types of crime for which he was before the court. According to Station Sergeant Carrison Henry, it was clear that if granted bail there was a likelihood of Chandler re-offending.
Accused Chandler’s mitigation focused on his need to access medical treatment. He explained that not only was he shot in the left arm, but “the hand get brek in three places so I does got to go to the QEH for treatment off and on, Sir”. The other reason why the accused felt he should be granted bail was “my grandmother on she dying bed and I don’t want to put her through that”.
Magistrate Douglas Frederick was all set to give him bail, based solely on his condition. Chandler has a piece of steel protruding from the top of his left arm almost down to the elbow. The arm is also heavily bandaged and in a sling.
“The only reason I would give you bail is because of your arm, but you really are not a good candidate for bail. You have antecedents here like a book,” Magistrate Frederick revealed.
“Most likely it will be difficult in prison for you and for the prison officers to manage you; because you will either injure yourself or somebody will hurt that. Just by looking at your arm, it looks complex to me. If I was sure you would be properly remanded and taken care of in prison with that, I would send you to prison,” the Magistrate continued.
Chandler further emphasized that he has to wear the steel in his arm for another six weeks before a second surgery can be performed.
However, events took a totally different turn when his sister entered the court to stand as surety for him. Upon examining her, the court heard that even though she was employed she was only 20 years old.
“So if I grant him $10,000 bail and he doesn’t come back to court, can you pay that?” Frederick asked.
The young lady said she would have to borrow the money since she had no property of that value.
“And how is your grandmother,” the court questioned further.
“She’s good,” the potential surety replied.
Asked how she knew that, the girl said she hadn’t visited her grandmother recently but when she asked the accused about her while they were at the police station, he told her the old lady was good and she took his word for it.
Turning to Chandler, the magistrate asked him to explain how his granny could go from being “on her death bed”, to “good”. So Chandler elaborated by saying that his sister is asthmatic and he did not want to bother her about the news of his gran’s deteriorating health because he did not wish to “stress out” his sister.
Even as the magistrate made the decision to remand Chandler to HMP Dodds, he was still pleading with the court by pointing out that his sibling would be a better caregiver than the prison officers.
“She would be better able to bathe me and take care of me Sir.”
“Bathe you what! And she lives in (St. Peter) and you live in Christ Church? I’m finished with this!” Frederick announced, before thanking the young lady for coming and asking her to help Chandler find someone older and more suitable to act as surety.