This island’s Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes today lamented Barbados’ degenerating society as he sent three men, who were allegedly involved in a public stone throwing melee, to Dodds on remand.
Omar Dacosta Holder, 37, of Lot 6C Pleasant Hall, Christ Church or Harrow Road, St Philip; Mario Jabarry Birkett, 30, of Balls Land, Christ Church and Matthew Anthony Robinson, 37, of Parish Land, Christ Church are jointly charged with causing a disturbance on Rockley Road, on May 23.
Holder is separately charged with using threatening behaviour towards Robinson on the same date with intent to cause him to believe that immediate unlawful violence would be used against him or another person. He is also charged with possession of cannabis and is accused of having a ratchet knife, an offensive weapon, while at Hastings Road.
No plea was taken from the three as the offences are alleged to have been committed in the District ‘A’ jurisdiction.
Robinson is separately accused of being in contravention of Paragraph 30 and 31 of the Emergency Management (COVID-19) Curfew (No.5) Directive 2020, also on May 23, when he did not present a means of identification when he was required to do so by police constable Peter Vaughn. He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Sergeant Theodore McClean objected to bail based on the nature and seriousness of the charge, the need to protect society and the strength of the evidence against the accused.
The police prosecutor said, “This is one that occurred in a very public place hence the need to protect society. This incident is so serious it could have caused severe injury and loss of life.”
However, attorney for Robinson and Birkett, Rasheed Belgrave argued that his clients were charged under the Highway Act and the sentence is $10 or a month in prison. He charged that his clients had no convictions, no pending charges and were gainfully employed.
“These charges do not merit a custodial sentence and to object to bail is more serious than the charge,” Belgrave stated adding that his clients would adhere to any conditions imposed on bail.
Defence attorney Martie Garnes who represented Holder in association with Andrew Pilgrim Q.C. argued that the prosecutor stated that there was a need to protect society but noted that the accused has a right to protect himself.
“My client has a good defence. He is gainfully employed . . . and has the knife for his job,” Garnes told the court.
“Right now it is about whether he Holder will present himself for court. The prosecutor has not put forward substantial grounds against bail,” the lawyer argued.
Garnes also stated that his client has no previous convictions and has “a good defence” to all the charges.
But Chief Magistrate Weekes made it clear that the accused would not be getting bail at this point.
“Matters of disturbance in this country are very serious and you hear allegations of people using stones in a melee . . . we can’t have these matters taken lightly. No bail will be granted. Wunna can go to the High Court.
“This society is degenerating. This society has become a lawless society,” Weekes said.
He then remanded the three accused to Dodds to appear in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on June 8. Robinson will return to the District ‘D’ Magistrates’ Court on June 27 on the breach of curfew charge.