Magistrate Douglas Frederick has suggested that police officers may need to “go into a classroom” in order to learn how to prepare files for cases before the law court.
Frederick who currently presides over the No. 1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court made the suggestion as he dismissed eight dated charges against accused Cleve Anderson Hoyte today.
The 51-year-old chauffeur from Brighton, St George had several pending theft matters in the No. 1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court. He was remanded to Dodds prison last month for not attending hearings for over a year. At the time the magistrate requested that the prosecution have files ready on the accused’s next appearance.
After spending 28 days on remand at the St Philip facility Hoyte returned to court with his attorney-at-law Lesley Cargill Straker.
When the prosecutor was asked about the files for his 2014 cases the court was informed that they were not in receipt of any of those files.
“I can’t hold Mr Hoyte on this anymore – 2014, six years ago. Even though he was missing you should have it, so that as you find him you can say here are his files,” the magistrate said.
The judicial officer said while the police were “quick” to apprehend accused persons, they were falling short when it came to producing files.
“If something happens in Barbados, in two days’ time somebody assisting the police. The public feels really good that they hold somebody but when it comes to preparing the file what is happening to the police force? What is happening with the file?
“We need to get these officers to go in a classroom and learn how to prepare files . . . They should know how to vet the files . . . They need a couple of attorneys in there who could look at these files and vet them and bring these files to court. It ain’t going to be perfect but at least you will get somewhere.”
Frederick again bemoaned the fact that he had been speaking about the issue for several years and nothing appeared to have changed.
“I have been speaking about that all the time and I am leaving here, I going to St Joseph and I going to still hear that this thing happening here. I hope it is not happening up there,” he stated.
Frederick said the dismissal of the cases should also “send a message” to the prosecutors.
“If you think the matters are so serious that a fella should not get bail try and get the man’s files and do the case. I can’t be clearer than that,” the magistrate added.
In spite of the dismissal of the cases Hoyte remains on remand at Dodds as he still has pending matters before the court.
The accused will make his next appearance on September 2.