The Chief Magistrate on Monday remanded a young farmer to Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds in connection with charges of assaulting his girlfriend several times, theft and escape.
Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes said he would not remand Tristan Hakeem Bourne, 24, of Cummings Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael, for the prescribed 28-day period but for 16 days as he believed that there was a need for “a little distance” given the charges levelled against him.
Represented by attorney-at-law Kendrid Sargeant, the accused man appeared before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court and entered not guilty pleas to seven offences.
He denied assaulting Kimberley Clarke, on two occasions, and stealing a $500 cellular phone belonging to her on April 12.
He also denied that five days later – on April 17 – having been lawfully arrested on a charge of theft he escaped lawful custody with the use of force.
Griffith also did not take responsibility for the charges that on that same day he assaulted and resisted Police Constable Jason Kirton as he executed his duties as well as damaged a lock belonging to the Crown.
Police prosecutor PC Ralph Rollock said the Crown was against bail for the accused at this time given the seriousness of the offences and allegations that he was constantly aggressive towards the complainant. PC Rollock also told the court of an allegation that a firearm had been used in connection with one of the assaults and that police had yet to recover the weapon. He said: “Police are still carrying out investigations with the matter… and there are fears that if granted bail he would interfere with the investigations and the complainant.”
The Crown’s prosecutor also pointed to the charge that Bourne had allegedly escaped police custody and submitted that was an indication that he “may not turn up” for his court hearings. Rollock said while the accused was not known to the court, he did have another case pending.
In his application, Sargeant pointed out that there were charges against his client for assaulting Clarke on the same day yet the police had no specific time.
He revealed that the accused and complainant were in a relationship and that there had been a “falling out . . . a quarrel” as with any other relationships. The defence also made clear that his client was not before the court on any gun possession charge and the police were using that ground as a means of having him remanded.
Sargeant said: “If he had a gun the police would have charged him for the gun… putting him on remand will not help him in any way.”
He explained that he would not get into the details at this time of the escaping charge.
But he urged the court to see Bourne as a proper candidate for bail as he had no prior convictions, was gainfully employed as a farmer and was willing to follow any conditions imposed by the court. “We can’t make a convict out of him by sending him to prison,” said the defence lawyer. “That will be of no use”.
But despite those arguments, Chief Magistrate Weekes ruled in favour of the Crown stating that there was a need for “a little distance at this point”.
Bourne was remanded to HMP Dodds for 16 days and is to reappear before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on May 5.