Although the prosecution objected, Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes granted bail to a Christ Church man, saying that police had previously granted the accused station bail.
Chief Magistrate Ian Weekes made the ruling in the matter in which Jabari Kerwin Best appeared before him in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court charged with doing serious bodily harm to Jon Hagan on May 12 with intent to maim, disfigure or disable him or to do him some serious bodily harm.
The 25-year-old taxi driver could not enter a plea to the indictable charge.
Sergeant Victoria Taitt objected to bail on the basis of the serious nature of the offence and the fact that the complainant was a visitor. She however made it clear that the prosecution was not making any inference that a visitor was more important than locals but on the fact that the country was highly dependent on that sector.
She also revealed that the 72-year-old Hagan had to undergo surgery and was hospitalized for two days. Taitt pointed to the strength of the evidence against the accused and told the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court that there was a need to protect society from the accused and the accused from society.
However, Best’s attorney Simon Clarke told Chief Magistrate Weekes that his client was gainfully employed and had a fixed place of abode. “To remand him now would cause serious economic hardship,” the lawyer stated, adding that the accused could also lose his job.
Clarke said based on the prosecution’s objections there was nothing to show that there were fears that his client would abscond from court if given his freedom at this time neither were there fears that he would interfere with witnesses.
“I heard about tourism but I was instructed that the complainant lives in Barbados,” the attorney said as he urged the court to take notice of the date of the offence.
Clarke further submitted that his client was willing to adhere to any conditions that the court wished to impose to bail.
“This is a mere allegation at this time,” he said. “He was offered station bail on Saturday and turned up for court today. I urge the court to see him as a fit and proper candidate for bail.”
After listening to the submissions, Chief Magistrate Weekes ruled in favour of the defence and granted the accused bail in the sum of $7 000 which he secured with one surety.
As part of his bail conditions Best has been warned to stay away from the complainant and to report to the Oistins Police Station every Tuesday and Saturday before 1 p.m. with valid identification.
The matter against him is expected to come up again in court on September 6.