Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, Q.C., today asked the Crown to state its case against his clients, businessmen Arthur Charles Herbert and Christopher Glenn Rogers who are both before the court on drug charges.
The prominent lawyer made the call in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court this afternoon on the grounds that the file handed to him and attorney-at-law Kamisha Benjamin on the matter “does not disclose any case” against his clients.
Pilgrim revealed that he had already written the clerk of the court and the Commissioner of Police on the issue.
“Our position is that if the Crown is of the view that there is some aspects in this evidence, which disclose as a case, we urge them to point to it. Or, if the court is of the view that there is some aspect of this evidence that touches and concerns our clients, and implies some sort of either knowledge, control or possession or any of those things, of its own motion, we invite the court to point us in that direction,” Pilgrim stated.
Herbert, 62, of Redland Plantation, St George and Rogers, 56, of No. 27 York Road, Navy Gardens, Christ Church are charged along with Walter O’Neal Prescod, 55, of No. 107 Emerald Park East, St Philip with possession, possession with intent to supply, trafficking and importation of 267 pounds or 121.4 kilogrammes of cannabis on July 23, 2018. The illicit substance has an estimated $534,160 street value.
According to police the charges against the trio allegedly stemmed from a drug bust aboard the Ecstasy, a private yacht owned by Goddard Enterprises.
All three men are currently on bail.
The Queen’s Counsel went on to state that if there was any doubt “at all” it could be resolved by calling witnesses but if the court shares the defence team’s position and there was no need to call those witnesses then “we are happy”.
“Because if the court wants us to specify why we think we could run into error if we commit this matter without a hearing of those witnesses, if there is a scintilla of evidence that points to knowledge of any of the parties whom we represent, we are anxious to be heard on those points. It may be a starting point to invite the Crown to indicate what their case is,” the lawyer told Magistrate Douglas Frederick as the trio sat in the dock.
He however stated that there was an easier way for his side to put its case forward.
“At least the simplest way to state our position is to say that parties other than us, in statements disclosed to us, point to this case happening in one particular way which does not involve us, that in our view those statements are statements which we are entitled to rely on in our defence pursuant to the Evidence Act,” said Pilgrim who conceded that he was not making a no case submission on the case against his clients “as yet”.
In response, prosecutor Assistant Superintendent Trevor Blackman told the court: “I have requested a directive from the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to this matter . . . so I am awaiting a response from her in relation to this matter.”
Magistrate Frederick however informed Pilgrim that his submission may be “misplaced” as Prescod had now retained a new attorney-at-law.
Today attorneys-at-law Shadia Simpson and Arthur Holder formally withdrew, with the court’s permission, as Prescod’s legal counsel. He is now represented by Verla DePeiza.
Magistrate Frederick said DePeiza now needed time to read the file on the case against her client and take instructions from him.
The case will continue in the No.1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on June 19.