A defense lawyer has challenged the decision of Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson to revoke the bail of her client, Andre Lord Evil Jackman who is before the court on firearm charges.
Last Friday, in Jackman’s first appearance before a judge since breaching his bail conditions just over two weeks ago, Sir Marston revoked his bail.
As part of those conditions the accused was placed on a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. However, he was seen near the Alexandra School in St Peter around midnight on September 15. He allegedly ran when he saw lawmen but was later apprehended.
The Chief Justice said the decision to hear Jackman’s matter was provided for in the Bail Amendment Act (2019), which stated that persons charged with certain offences such as murder, treason, or firearm offences, were required to have their bail application heard by him or by a judge assigned by him.
However, Jackman’s attorney-at-law Angela Mitchell-Gittens has contended that her client was charged before that legislation was passed and therefore should not have been judged on those grounds.
“The amendments do not apply to him. This is not under the new guidelines because the new guidelines are not applicable to him. He was charged before the guidelines.
Under the Bail Act an accused charged for certain offences under the Firearms Act or murder must be on remand for two years before they are eligible for bail unless there are certain circumstances
She also questioned Sir Marston’s decision to hear her client’s case.
Mitchell-Gittens said Jackman’s matter was simply one where he breached his bail conditions.
She maintained that her client was being treated differently to other persons because of his infamy, as other persons who had breached their conditions had been allowed to remain on bail.
“That does not apply to him. He has been on bail. His is a simple breach and the truth is when I read the Bail Act I am not convinced that a judge is the proper person who is to hear a breach of bail conditions because the Bail Act only speaks about magistrates . . . so I am not even convinced that he can hear a breach of bail conditions . . . as it makes no distinction,” she said.
“…He is the only person who has had his bail revoked, in circumstances where one [an accused] was even found in the company of a wanted person and they were given a fine and sent home…Several persons have come before the court for breaching curfew . . . the Chief Justice heard matters with persons who had failed to report on numerous occasions and none of their bails was revoked. The only person who so far has had their bail revoked is Jackman and this is for a single infraction,” Mitchell-Gittens said.
Furthermore, Mitchell-Gittens also took issue with the fact that Sir Marston had spoken publicly about Jackman’s bail hearing.
She said it was not the norm to do so and admitted she was worried that her client would not get a fair hearing whenever he went on trial.
“I have never spoken about a bail application before, because I was always under the opinion that chamber matters are sacrosanct and they are not for public consumption. However, having taken up today’s paper and realised that the Chief Justice is quoted as giving the details of a matter that took place in chambers, clearly the rules have changed and I no longer feel constrained not to speak about matters that take place in chambers,” she pointed out.
“Because of the notoriety unfortunately given to Mr Jackman by the newspapers, I am sometimes fearful that he will be prejudiced when he appears before the law courts. I sincerely hope I am wrong. All I am asking is that Andre Jackman, like everybody else, gets a fair break. Treat him like any other person who comes before the court. Treat him like everybody else and treat everybody else like him.