The apparent misplacement of the file of a murder accused who has been wanting to plead guilty for the past seven months has raised the ire of a High Court Judge.
“This is absolute nonsense regardless of where it is delayed. A man wants to plead guilty to murder since November, 2020.
“This is unfair, man in jail over five years for a murder he wants to plead guilty and we can’t make a move – that is a system that is totally broken down,” an upset Justice Carlisle Greaves declared today in the case involving Jarviston Glenford Thorne, of Jackson Terrace, St Michael.
Thorne is on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds charged with murdering teenager Kadeem Wilfred on December 8, 2015.
Today, Senior Crown Counsel Neville Watson informed the No. 3 Supreme Court, during a virtual sitting, that his efforts to get Thorne’s file from the Magistrates’ Court has not been successful.
Watson explained that since the last sitting of the Court on the matter he had “engaged” the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
“I am in no better position. I still don’t know where the documents are. I have made a check of my department, the physical book and the electronic system and that matter has still not reached this department. I will continue to check again and I will leave no stone unturned until I get that,” he told the court.
The prosecutor added that he believed that the situation was now at the stage that the Registrar of the Supreme Court should become involved.
“The registrar must be able to light some fire under the learned magistrate, and I am not holding my words any longer,” Watson added.
The lack of movement of the case did not sit well with Thorne’s attorney-at-law Harry Husbands who said hhe too has been making efforts to get the matter committed from the Magistrates’ Court to the High Court and indicted by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“It seems as though nobody knows where this matter is. At the end of the day there is only one body here who is going to be suffering. Since November . . . this is a mockery . . . . we have been trying our best from this end because we are clearly not getting any assistance at the Magistrates’ Court level, what is the DPP’s position on this matter? . . . I am ready to make a bail application,” Husbands stated.
The attorney contended that at this stage the only avenue left for him to pursue was the route of a constitutional motion.
“A person cannot be left to hang out to dry like this, in no man’s land. He is not in the Magistrates’ Court, he is not in the High Court . . . this is a mockery sir.”
Justice Greaves too said had made efforts to get information on file with no success. He then ordered that a transcript of today’s proceedings be sent “immediately” to Chief Justice Sir Patterson Cheltenham and the Registrar Barbara Cooke-Alleyne.
“I agree with counsel that this is absolute nonsense regardless to where it is delayed. A man wants to plead guilty to murder since November 2020 and all the efforts . . . nobody can get the papers out of the Magistrates’ Court. Imagine if he wanted to go to trial, we would be waiting ten more years. I too am upset. This is nonsense.
“I am going to keep my foot on this all the time I am not going to ease up,” the judge said as he read the log entries of what had transpired in court with the case since it first came before him in November last year.
“I agree this is unfair. Man in jail over five years for a murder he wants to plead guilty and we can’t make a move – that is a system that is totally broken down and then we get upset when the CCJ (Caribbean Court of Justice) and those people talk about us . . .
“ . . . I am only an acting judge . . . so it seems I don’t have any weight in my voice, so let the Chief Justice deal with it and the Registrar, so that action can be taken,” Greaves said before adjourning the case until June 8.