Last modified: April 03. 2002 10:13AM
Prosecutor Charmaine Smith
opened the hearing by telling the jury that it was the Crown’s case that both
Mr. Dill and Mr. Tucker had entered Mr. Proctor’s cell and attacked him,
punching, kicking and slapping him. She said the
assault finally came to an end when Mr. Proctor managed to escape under his bed.
She said: “In my view, it’s a very simple case. It’s about an assault. An
assault that is alleged to have taken place at Westgate Correctional Facility.”
She said Mr. Proctor had complained earlier that
day that his Walkman stereo had gone missing. The complaint led to a search of
Mrs. Smith then called her only witness, Mr. Proctor, to the stand to give evidence, but he refused.
Mr. Proctor, from Sandys, told the court:
“I have been trying to get these charges dropped since even before the preliminary inquiry.
“It’s the Police and the prosecutors who want to pursue this matter. I have no evidence to give in this case.”
Mrs. Smith then told the
court that she had completed her evidence in chief, and both defence lawyers
made an application that there was no case to answer.
“However, the prosecution decided to pursue this matter in this most unusual fashion and you heard the witness come to the witness box and say what he had to say. You were empanelled to hear the case quite properly.”
Assistant Justice Warner said as there was no evidence against the men, it was his duty to direct the six-man and six-woman jury to find each of the defendants not guilty.
Yesterday afternoon, Director of Public Prosecutions Khamisi Tokunbo said he was happy with the proceedings and said there was never a guarantee that a key witness would give evidence. He said: “He (Mr. Warner) is entitled and he can say what he wants. It’s not for us to comment. I have nothing to say about that. We heard from the client for the first time (today). We had difficulty contacting the client, Mr. Proctor. The first time my Crown Counsellor spoke to him was this morning outside of the court. “Witnesses take different positions. They either co-operate, or they choose not to co-operate, at the last minute. That’s the predicament.”
Last night, a lawyer said
the usual course of action in this case would have been for the prosecution to
apply for a Nolle Prosequi, which would have saved the time of the jury and the
court as the trial would never have had to have been started. The Nolle gives
the prosecution a 12-month stay on the case. The case does not go ahead, but if
the prosecution comes up with evidence in the 12 months after the stay is
granted, they can re-instate the case and call the new evidence into court.
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