When a 52-year-old man appeared in District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court yesterday he was granted bail on an assault charge which allegedly occurred in December last year.
Today Ricardo Juan Johnson, of Free Hill, Black Rock, Michael returned before the same magistrate charged that on January 20 he unlawfully removed Mechelle Jarvis, the same woman he is accused of assaulting, from Free Hill without her consent.
He was not required to plead to the charge as it is indictable. This was followed by objections from the prosecution to his bail.
Sergeant Vernon Waithe stated that the kidnapping allegation occurred when there was a protection order enforced and the complainant needed to be protected from the accused.
“Remanding the accused will ensure there is some degree of peace,” said Waithe who also pointed to an antecedent of the accused as well as the nature and seriousness of the offence.
However, attorney-at-law Rita Evans appearing with legal counsel Althea Chapman-Carmichael stated that the accused was a good candidate for bail.
Evans argued that her client was before the court as recently as yesterday and was still in the very same clothes when he appeared then. She also took issue with the date of the charge sheet proffered against him.
“The date of this charge sheet is January 22 for an offence on January 20. The accused was not given the opportunity to go home and get his belongings from the dwelling which he shares with the complainant as ordered by the court,” the attorney said adding that her client’s antecedent did not relate to the same person.
The lawyer submitted that strict conditions could be set as the prosecution did not say that the accused would abscond if released.
After listening to the two sides Magistrate Douglas Frederick made it clear that the kidnapping allegation was not in the “equation” the day before and asked the prosecution why the charge was not brought before the court yesterday.
Waithe explained that when the charge first came there were facts attached to the protection order and “we realised it could not go like this. It could not come like this and as a result we engaged the Family Conflict Unit who would have spoken to Inspector Brewster who then gave certain instructions”. He said as a result Johnson appeared in court today.
But the magistrate stated that he was not aware of such an allegation when he dealt with yesterday’s case and “out of an abundance of caution” would remand Johnson. “I don’t want this to escalate . . .This is far more serious than what was alleged yesterday,” the magistrate stated as he urged the complainant who had previously informed the court that she would vacate the shared house by February 28 to make the necessary arrangements to move up the timeline.
In the meantime Johnson has been remanded until February 20.