a population of about 65,000,but
police officers per head of population in the world.
Police Manipulation of
Prosecutors too often "water down"
robbery charges to mere theft charges, a Magistrate has claimed.
Magistrate Edward King spoke out as he
remanded 24-year-old Shannon Looby until Tuesday when prosecutors are expected
to present new charges. Mr. King
said prosecutors should change two charges each of stealing, threatening behavior,
and possessing an offensive weapons to two counts of robbery.
Police arrested Looby on Thursday evening in
relation to two thefts at two supermarkets just an hour before.
But Mr. King told Police prosecutor Sgt. Phil
Taylor: "I'm not telling you what to do. But you can come back and decide
what you're going to do with this."
"This is watering down two offences into
six," he added. "That ain't right. I'm not afraid to do what I have to
do. I think the charges should be laid properly or not at all!"
Comment: Go get 'em judge.
But instead of telling the police what to do, why not add a little spice; think laterally.
Ask them why they are doing it. It's all about putting the other man on
the spot, seeking an explanation. Odds on they will dig themselves deeper
in it. Are the police perpetrating a deception? Do they receive the
kudos of 6 'cleared up' crimes, or is it simply that the defendant is likely to
plead guilty to the lesser offences, albeit more of them - are the police that
unsure of themselves that they fear prosecuting for the appropriate
offences? tends to undermine the evidence does it not?
Heroin Importer on trial
The trial of a man who almost died in mid-air
from a drug overdose came to an abrupt halt yesterday morning after a female
juror fell ill.
Puisne Judge Philip Storr told the 11 jurors
present at the start of the session a juror was hospitalised on Tuesday evening
and she was not due back until yesterday afternoon.
Floyd McCoy Hayward, 45, of Friswell's Hill,
Pembroke is charged with importing 81.5 grams of diamorphine (heroin) on a
British Airways flight on April 9.
Fine Drug Using Cruise Ship
Two cruise ship passengers yesterday faced
fines for possession of cannabis after being caught in separate incidents on the
Karen Joy Alweis was found with 4.53 grams of
the illegal drug when Customs officers searched the Zenith on Monday.
They also found a drug pipe.
Alweis, a 43-year-old housewife from Fort
Salonga, New York, was fined a total of $500 after pleading guilty in
Magistrates' Court to possession of a controlled drug and possession of drug
Comment: small beer.
A tip off, or a crack-down? I dount the ship's security tipped the police
/ customs off - but it does happen. When you are out of your cabin room,
who has access ....
Allegation of Murder against
Last December, Puisne Judge Vincent Meerabux,
said Smith should be acquitted after deciding there was an abuse of process and
insufficient evidence to go before a jury. Rebecca Middleton, 17, was
founded raped, tortured and stabbed to death at Ferry Reach on July 3, 1996.
It is understood the Privy Council in London
could notify lawyers as early as next month of a hearing against a Bermuda Court
of Appeal decision that Smith must face another trial for the alleged killing of
Canadian teenager Rebecca Middleton.
Comment: A travesty of
justice and an example of Bermuda police incompetence. See: Boycott
A Southampton man with a $700-a-day heroin
habit will spend the next eight months in prison after pleading guilty to four
counts of stealing.
Mallory, of Lighthouse Hill, was imprisoned to
two six-month sentences for stealing a livery cycle and a case of Gosling's
Black Seal Rum from a Cosmopolitan Liquors truck on the same day. Mallory
got away, but he was later arrested for the offences and breaking into Bersalon.
Mallory told Police he had a "$700 to $800 a day heroin habit" and
helped recover some of the stolen goods.
The Magistrate said: "These are two
particularly serious offences, I give you credit for your assistance to Police
and your frank admissions."
serious offences ??? So who was
supplying him with the drugs, or is that not a serious offence? Yet
another addict on the tiny island.
Call for drugs crackdown in
An Opposition MP has called for a Police Task
Force to crack down on gangs dealing drugs in Admiralty Park. The MP said,
"The drugs dealers are winning the war. It's time to take back our
Round-the-clock drug dealing, swearing,
vicious dogs, prostitution and fights just yards from CJ's summer kids camp
Two raids on the area in the last four weeks
and regular patrols wasn't enough said Mr. Pitman, "The dealers are
sophisticated and have surveillance equipment so it's a very tricky situation.
Mr Pitman has written to Government
Information Services Minister Terry Lister, Police Commissioner Jean Jacques-Lemay,
and Acting Parks Director Candy Foggo to set up a meeting about the problem.
"We had a meeting last November with the
Police about the drugs problem and we were expecting great things, but not a lot
has been done," he said
A park user said: "There are cars and
trucks going in and out all day long, stopping for a couple of minutes to make
the deal and then shooting off. What amazes me is the amount of work vans
I see going in there which means people are buying the drugs while on the
Comment: same old places, no doubt the
same old faces. Admiralty Park was always a good 'hunting ground'.
Can the police really not control the 65,000 occupants, despite having the highest
number of officers per head of population in the world?
Pamela Gordon: New Bermuda looks like
An attack on the independence of non-party
senators is an assault on democracy, Opposition leader Pamela Gordon said
Ms Gordon claimed: "What we have is a
Government where this new Bermuda is not a democracy, but totalitarianism.
"They're looking at a dictatorship. If
anyone questions what they want to do, they try to remove them."
Pamela, I can't say I'm surprised nothing changed in 10 years. Maybe
someone will listen to a Bermudan.
`I will not back down'
A former Policewoman who claimed her career
was shattered due to sexual harassment from a senior ranking officer, has taken
her story beyond Bermuda.
The former officer, Ellen Miller, who quit the
Police two years ago, believes Bermuda as a whole and the Police Service in
particular will suffer a blow when the story is read by thousands in the US, UK
and possibly the West Indies. Former P.c. Miller has accepted an offer
from a North American writer to reveal her story.
"It's been two years and my case still
hasn't come up. They keep prolonging it and although I'm tired and fed up I will
not be backing down. Other officers stalked me, tried to intimidate me and
I was very stressed," she said. "The Police doctor told me that the
stress was affecting my health."
She also claims the harassment invaded her
personal life, that her phones were tapped and that she was stalked by
detectives in the special branch section. Mrs. Miller has not been employed in
the two years since she left the Service.
Apparently, there was currently no officer of
a high enough rank within the Police Service to handle the matter at the moment.
Mrs. Miller said she was told by Police that the matter has been handed over to
the Public Service Commission (PSC).
But Judith Hall Bean, secretary to the PSC,
said the matter would not be heard by them as the PSC are the appeal body and
would not be able to hear the original case.
Police Commissioner Jean-Jacques Lemay last
night admitted that the PSC would not be handling the matter. He said the
investigation was complete and explained that there was only one person left in
the Service who can sit as the presiding officer in the hearing. However,
the officer is currently overseas on a course, expected back in mid
Comment: Good luck Ellen. It is
only a matter of time. In my case, the Commissioner has lied about the
investigation and brushed it aside in the hope it will go away. You are
much closer to home and it will not be so easy for him to avoid the issue.
By the way, how is Larry Smith?
Former Policeman pleads not
After more than two years of investigation a
former Policeman, Saleem Tony Bukhari, denied four counts of manslaughter in the
death of former Royal Gazette sub-editor Liz Cadell.
Ms Cadell - as Bukhari, is British - was found
in her Harvey Hill Road, Devonshire home on May 31, 1997. She had
swallowed 150 aspirin.
Bukhari denied the charges:
- that as a Policeman, he failed to provide
the "necessities of life" to Ms Cadell, which caused her death.
- he failed in his duty as a result of their
long-term relationship to provide the necessities of life, was also denied.
- that after "undertaking to
advise" Ms Cadell on a dangerous or life-threatening matter and by
having "reasonable skill", he failed to take "reasonable
care" in that advice.
- that after assisting Ms Cadell, he failed
to provide the same reasonable care in that assistance.
Tony Bukhari served in the Bermuda Police
Service from 1990 to the summer of 1997 when he was dismissed. Ms Cadell came to
Bermuda in 1989.
Tony is defended by Delroy Duncan and is free
on $5,000 bail. he will return to court on October 1, the trial is provisionally
scheduled for October 11.
Comment: He has a good lawyer in Delroy
but should not need him. If the Bermuda police investigation is up to the
usual standard, I would suggest they by-pass the trial and go straight to
appeal. The case is tainted with the involvement of Socky Adams and
therefore doomed. Much will have been over-looked, Adams will not have
paid attention to detail and his prejudices can only serve to make the entire
force appear unprofessional. How excited Socky must have been to have
another police officer to investigate. Don't forget to check his pocket
book and the computer entries. Bermuda's finest - now that's what I call a
Golf Club Cocaine continues
Two men convicted of
importing cocaine received 13 years imprisonment
We await the appeal
Lang Onley accused of conspiring to import
cocaine told Det. Con. Alex Severin it was one of many other shipments of
cocaine-laced golf clubs due to arrive in Bermuda.
Richard Ricardo Steede, 39, of 12 Kitty's
Lane, Hamilton Parish and Onley, 40, of 12 Harvest Lane, Hamilton Parish are
charged with conspiring to import cocaine, handling the same drug, and
possessing with intent to supply cocaine with a street value of $138,000.
James Lambert - a former employee of Mid-Ocean
Club - testified he was asked by Steede if there were ways of using golf clubs
to import drugs into Bermuda. Mr. Lambert said he did not want to put his job at
risk so he only discussed how to import cocaine in golf clubs with Steede.
Det. Con. Severin said Mr. Lambert was afraid
of being killed and he was reluctant at first to give a statement. "Information
during the Police interview with James Lambert suggested that he was not
involved in the importation of the 16 golf clubs," said Det. Con Severin.
Det. Sgt. Dennis Gordon was the
officer-in-charge of the drug bust as Police surrounded Steede's residence, but
Steede eluded them.
Comment: Nice to see Alex Severin still
in Narco, nice chap (when he wasn't having to sort out the physical
confrontations with the mother of his child). But Dennis Gordon? It
was said of Dennis that he couldn't find his arse-hole with a mirror and a
magnifying glass. The Gordon school of interview was based on the ability
to shout louder than the other party and to intimidate - 'get in your
face'. God forbid Bermuda ever progresses to tape-recorded
interviews. A dinosaur who whose statements should commence 'once upon a
time'. Poor old Alex, I suspect his arrest record is none too impressive,
not the most imaginative or productive of souls. I do hope he has not been
dragged into a charade by Dennis. Onley & Steede, now there's a couple
of names from the past. Do the Narco' department really think the
Bermudan jury is that stupid; Lambert not involved in the importation - on the
say so of one of the defendants? All pigs fueled and ready for take-off
Police probe cash theft from security firm
Police are investigating the theft of a
"substantial" amount of money (close to $300,000?) from a local
security firm after an anonymous source yesterday revealed that Safeguard
Security Services was the victim of theft recently. The
security company boss, Paul Field, was unavailable for comment.
Comment: Paul Field, former Bermuda
Narcotics sergeant also having business interests in a parcel / courier
company. It was always reported that he and the former Commissioner, Clive
Donald, were in the same Masonic lodge. Hardly surprising then that an
attempt was made during my service to keep me 'in check' by arresting (detaining
- no official record will exist) my
Bermudan girlfriend when, using Paul Field's courier service, she sent $300 cash
her father in the US. Clearly the letter was intercepted. This
sending of a birthday gift, constituted a currency exportation crime. The
young lady was made to attend the Narcotics office where, in my presence, it was
made quite clear no further action would be taken. The matter could, of
course, be reconsidered. Nice people!
Golf clubs used to import drugs - claim
16 golf clubs were used to import more than a
pound of cocaine valued at $138,000 Richard
Ricardo Steede, 39, of 12 Kitty Lane, Hamilton Parish and Lang Onley, 40, of 12
Harvest Lane, Hamilton Parish stand accused of conspiring to import cocaine,
handling cocaine, and possession with intent to supply cocaine.
The drugs are said to have been brought into
Bermuda by courier service, Fed-ex, between March 28 and 31, 1998. the clubs
arrived by Fed-Ex courier services at the airport.
Comment: More cocaine for this tiny
island. That's some habit.
Bank named in Miami money
A Bermuda bank was used to launder $50,000 in
bribery payments made to a US city council chief, prosecutors in Florida
The Bank of Bermuda was named by the Miami US
Attorney's Office as the one used by allegedly corrupt ex-Miami-Dade County
Commissioner James Burke to hide money in a cash-for-contracts scandal.
Bank of Bermuda senior vice-president Danny
Fox said: "We are unable to comment on the specifics of this case as we are
not involved as a party." and added, "We
have very strict anti-money laundering procedures in place. Bank of Bermuda
acted properly in every way regarding this transaction and this has been
recognised by both the Bermuda Police and the FBI."
Burke is alleged to have received a first
payment of $50,000 in 1996, using a Swiss bank and the Bank of Bermuda to
launder the cash. Three accused face charges of money-laundering and
bribery following the Operation Greenpalm probe of public finance corruption in
the Miami area.
The allegations come months after the Bank of
Butterfield was caught up in a Canadian money-laundering scandal involving a
Quebec Superior Court judge, Robert Lahiff, who was jailed for three years for
laundering C$1.65 million between 1989 and 1991 for a drug dealer while running
his former private legal practice.
The cash was funnelled through Canadian banks,
to Swiss institutions, then Bermuda and Hong Kong before going back to Canadian
banks. A total of C$60,000 went through the Island.
Tourism Minister David Allen's plea is for the
public to help in fighting crime against visitors following the recent spate of
crimes against visitors. These range from "the sadly almost mundane
burglaries of tourism accommodations and, more recently, the handbag snatch from
a horse and carriage which resulted in a visiting couple experiencing a
terrifying and potentially life threatening ride" said the Bermuda Gazette.
Police officers long-awaited pay
increases are set to be delayed for up to two months. Their new deal is
likely to be in place just before pay negotiations for the current year starts
in October. Police Association chairman Sgt. Mike Jackman said: "I
know people will be upset and disappointed at any delay.
Police make headway on
DETECTIVES have revealed they are close to
cracking up to four unresolved murder cases, some of which date back more than
15 years to the early 1980's.
In an exclusive interview with the Bermuda Sun
yesterday, police said they were confident of getting closure on three or four
crimes "pretty soon" and that relatives should never give up hope that
attackers will be brought to justice.
According to Mr. Daniels the Bermuda Police
Service has a murder solving success rate of 70 per cent -- in other countries,
he says, the average is around 65 per cent.
Comment: no one should belittle
good police work, but let's hold back on the praise a little at this time.
The suspects have yet to be arrested, prosecuted and convicted. The police
service may have a good success rate but their ability to keep people locked up
is appalling. Successful appeal after appeal is testimony to that.
And just who are the Bermuda
service comparing themselves to? With a population of 65,000 and a police
service of no less than 400, one in every 162 people you see on the island is a
cop! This is the highest average in the world. Bermuda solves just
over 1 in 3 murders - not very comforting. Has anyone asked which countries
the figures were compared with; why the island has such a murder problem; why,
with such a high concentration of police officers, a third of murderers are
walking the streets?
Drugs in prison
Shadow Home Affairs Minister Michael Dunkley
has urged the Government to stamp out the movement and use of narcotics in the
Island's penal facilities which, he said, are hampering efforts to rehabilitate
Comment: so this is the state of
things. Even behind locked doors, in a secure environment on a small
island, narcotics are rife. I do not recall this being such a serious
problem, evidently things have gone down-hill.
Police Recruit Arrested
A police recruit was arrested and
placed in handcuffs as she paraded for duty as fines from 2 years ago remained
unpaid. Tomeeka Talbot has agreed to pay some of the fines but denies a few of
the charges and these will be heard in Court during October 1999. The lady will
be continuing her training as a police officer despite one of the fines relating
to ‘making a false statement’.
Comment: it was only last year we
were being informed of recruits who were unable to make the grade continued to
be employed. Now those who flout the law are being given uniforms and powers
above those of the law abiding. Just how did this ‘officer’ manage to pass
the selection process? Is Bermuda’s recruitment program so relaxed that
previous convictions are not requested? Or is the converse true; the entrance
application asks the question? Assuming the convictions were disclosed, who
failed to take these into consideration, or turned a blind eye? If they are
asked for, but not disclosed, then there exists a far more serious situation.
For those not familiar with the
Theft Act, it is a criminal offence to obtain a Pecuniary Advantage by
deception. In this instance, if there exists a misrepresentation on the
application form, it appears the offence has been satisfied; a job (work –
salary paying) had been obtained as a result of the non-disclosure which (had
the convictions and outstanding fines been disclosed) would have been declined.
Of course, there are some obvious
defences; the police force does not ask the obvious question about convictions
and fines; the police service employs anyone – irrespective of avoiding
penalties imposed by a Magistrate – the very people they will be looking to
for understanding when presenting evidence
Another high ranking Officer quits
Alan Bissell has quit the Service. Described
in the Royal Gazette as "the shock move by the current number two in the
service It is understood Mr. Bissell left his Assistant Commissioner's post
after lengthy negotiations over the succession plan for the top jobs".
Supt. Vic Richmond is likely to take over as
Deputy Commissioner on Monday, with Supt. Gertie Barker taking over as Assistant
The Royal Gazette went on to add "Deputy
Governor Tim Gurney and Commissioner of Police Jean-Jacques Lemay could not be
contacted for comment last night"
The Former Deputy Commissioner (Harold Moniz)
retired from the force earlier this year, leaving this post vacant and it has
remained so since.
Comment: with so many Officers
leaving and only 4 Superintendents in the police service, it looks as though the
future top jobs are to be shared among them. No incentive for the parties
concerned to do other than sit back and wait.
Bermuda's `dark side' on TV (Canada)
The "dark side" of the Island in
"Bermuda: Death on the Rock".
Arts and Entertainment cable network broadcast
at the beginning of July an hour-long documentary on the murder and torture of
Canadian teenager Rebecca Middleton. The programme is described as a
"shocking look at the dark side of Bermuda" and "examines the
Island's attempt to recover, despite a tourist boycott by many Canadians".
There is an A&E website promotion of the
film which addresses the importance of the seedier part of local life - tourist
brochures do not mention the "back of town" area of Hamilton saying
"It's a place tourists only go to find trouble,"
The Cable company’s web site
can be located at: http://www.aande.com/index2.html
June, 1999A cruise ship
worker admitted two counts of handling more than $200,000 worth of cannabis and
cocaine. Dwight Wright, 28, of Spanish Town, Jamaica, changed his plea on the
second day of his trial. His defence lawyer was Richard Hector.
Apparently, staff colleagues on board The Norwegian Majesty cruise ship
discovered the cocaine and cannabis (in a mineral water box in the ship's
holding cell, for which Wright as chief bell boy, was responsible) while the
vessel was docked in St. George's last September.
Wright received 7 years imprisonment. Apparently, Wright cooperated with the
Police, "telling them everything" and in assisting in attempts to
apprehend the other players in what came to be known as Operation Bermuda
COMMENT: there must be more to the story than this! Just
because you are responsible for an area does not mean you are the only person
who has access it. Note no other persons were appearing with Wright, despite his
Lemay admits Police morale
Finding a Bermudian Police Commissioner and
Deputy Commissioner has been hampered by a lack of training under the old
regime. The Commissioner said part of the problem with finding suitable
Bermudian replacements for the top posts was that under the old system, there
never was a learning environment.
This was just one of the reasons Police
Commissioner Jean-Jacques Lemay gave for low morale within the force.
Working without a contract in poor conditions with a shortage of staff could
also be contributing to the low morale issue, Mr. Lemay admitted. He was
commenting after a former female police officer complained to The Royal
Gazette about a number of concerns with regard to the status of the Police
Service and the conduct of its officers.
And two other former male officers echoed her
sentiments with one adding: "Morale is at the bottom and plummeting."
Reasons given included; lack of support from superior officers, abuse from
members of the public, and very poor working conditions.
One of the former officers said: "It was
the worst feeling in the world being out on the street because you were facing a
hostile public but also had to worry about your superiors stabbing you in the
He explained this comment by saying that
the superior officers seemed to feel that in order to justify their position as
supervisors, they had to come down hard on constables.
Mr. Lemay identified four reasons why morale
- pay negotiations have been outstanding
since 1997 and there is currently no Police contract in place
- manpower shortage
- condition of the physical plant and working
conditions. Hamilton Police Station had been condemned because it was
infested by roaches and termites and the station in St. George's is also in
need of repair.
- major underlying changes being made
in the structure of the Police Service and the uncertainty about these
Mr. Lemay said he understood the former
officer's statement about not being supported by his superior officers.
He explained that under the old system, Police
constables did not ask questions; they were told to carry out orders and did not
participate in the decision-making process. He added that if they made mistakes,
they were reprimanded but were not applauded when they did something well.
Mr. Lemay admitted that certain officers in
the ranks would have a problem with this approach and that these changes
could lead to frustration.
Comment: It goes a little deeper
than a lack of support. There is a belief by some sergeants and above that
a possible way to promotion and a means by which to ingratiate themselves
with the hierarchy is by 'back-stabbing'. They actively look for errors
(albeit innocent) by constables but failing this, they create opportunities or
manipulate situations such that an officer is perceived as having committed an
act which can be the subject of discipline proceedings.
The system supports a kangaroo
court. The allegation is made by a rank senior to the constable, a senior
officer is appointed to investigate, a senior officer presents the 'evidence' at
the hearing and the 'judge' is a senior officer. In a police service of
460 on an island of 21 square miles, it takes little to realise the odds of
receiving a fair, impartial trial are a little unlikely.
One such case is dealt with in
these pages (see 'discipline') but I represented police constables on 4
occasions. At each, the constable was found 'not guilty' - the
prosecutions were malicious. During one trial it was evident the officer
who instigated the action (Carlton 'socky' Adams - dealt with in these pages)
was guilty of neglect (at least), on another occasion in cross-examination the
then head of Special Branch - Mr Birmingham was found to have conspired with the
then Chief Inspector in charge of St George's police station. We are
talking about two senior Officers incapable of getting their stories straight
and manipulating facts to aid a prosecution.
And if the service cannot get you
'by the book', they'll make their own rules, as I found out - the discipline
code requires adverse reports to be brought to an officer's attention and for a
hearing to follow (if appropriate). being ex-pat, it was simpler for them
to advise me that, as a result of the reports, my contract would not be renewed.
The Bermuda police service is a
dictatorship supported by those wishing to be looked (down) on
In the meantime, it is the public
who lose out while those who commit crime carry on regardless.
Former Police officer (Tony
Bukhari) to face charges in connection with the death of his girlfriend Elizabeth
Delroy Duncan, acting for Mr Bukhari, failed in his
application to have the manslaughter charge thrown out of court. Mr. Duncan claimed the
indictment was invalid. Mr Bukhari was charged in June 1998 for the part he
allegedly played in the death. Ms Cadell (formerly sub-editor for The Royal
Gazette newspaper) was found in the couple's apartment on Harvey Hill Road in
Devonshire on May 31, 1997, she had swallowed 150 aspirin.
Comment: This trial is set to become a mess. I find
it hard to believe an English police officer will receive a fair trial, even though it is
not a Bermudan who has died. My concerns are principally in connection with Police
Sergeant (now an Inspector?) Carlton 'socky' Adams being associated with the case.
Given his prejudices and malicious manner, even if there were grounds to prosecute Mr.
Bukhari, involving PS Adams will be detrimental; there will be glaring mistakes associated
with the evidence. The man is incompetent and neither Mr. Bukhari, or the family of
Miss Cadell, deserve this.
Ten-year prison term for man who
had sex without telling partner he was HIV positive
The sentence was "manifestly harsh and
excessive", according to his lawyer, Victoria Pearman, who took the case to the Court
of Appeal to get the sentence "substantially reduced".
Mapp, 37, of Cedar Avenue, Pembroke, sentenced in March
after pleading guilty to sexual assault, failed to tell his partner (who consented to sex)
he'd been HIV positive for about ten years. In court Ms Pearman said the father of
five had always used a condom and that because of his condition he could spend the rest of
his life behind bars; in effect, Mr. Mapp's crime, which he pleaded guilty to, was to have
sex with this woman without telling her that he was HIV positive.
Comment: It may be
interesting to know how old his 5 children are. Without wishing to insult, I think
Victoria should be told that, unless her client has been unlucky on 5 occasions, he has
not always worn a condom! In the event he has - would someone please tell me (and
the population of Bermuda) what brand he is using.
Court overturns manslaughter
The Court of Appeal overturned Kevin James Pollock's (a
nightclub manager) conviction of manslaughter. The 3 judge panel ruled that Puisne
Judge Norma Wade-Miller misdirected the Supreme Court jury in Pollock's trial. Mrs.
Wade-Miller had twice misstated the law to the jury. If a person perceived
any kind of physical harm to himself, he was entitled to act in self-defence. Puisne Judge
Norma Wade-Miller told the jury that it was only if Mr. Pollock thought he was
going to be very seriously hurt or killed by Mr. McGavern, that he could defend himself.
A defence available to Mr Pollock had effectively been
removed by the misdirection resulting in a miscarriage of justice.
Mr Pollock, a 36-year-old Englishman, was allegedly
escorting McGavern out of the restaurant, Flanagan's Pub & Restaurant (which Mr
Pollock managed), with the assistance of two bouncers. However, Mr. McGavern either
fell or was pushed down the back stairs of the restaurant and suffered severe head
injuries which led to his death. Mr. Pollock had been convicted of the manslaughter
of Craig McGavern, 51.
Mr. Pettingill, for Mr. Pollock, argued that his client
could not get a fair trial in this jurisdiction; there was a belief in the community that
self-defence should not be an issue in the case; publicity surrounding the trial
had damaged the chances of finding an impartial jury.
Mr. Pollock was bailed and awaits Acting DPP's
decision on a retrial.
miscarriage of justice affecting the lives of many and at great cost to the public.
Is there no accountability on the part of a Judge? Just how much are they paid to
make such ludicrous statements about the law which, in this instance, has caused a man to
spend 6 weeks in jail?
Any UK police recruit could tell you that the definition
of assault is "the intentional application of force to the person of another, or the
threat of such force if the person threatening has, or caused the person threatened to
believe he has, the present ability to affect his purpose" - it is learned word
perfect. If you think you are about to be assaulted (you do not have to wait until
someone pushes or shoots you, for want of better extremes) then you may use reasonable
force to defend yourself.
Arson conviction overturned
Arnett Winfield Dill has had his arson conviction
overturned has succeeded however, he remains in custody as his second appeal to have his
convictions for breaking and entering was overturned.
Dill was convicted of breaking and entering, arson and
willful damage to property after an almost three-week trial last November. Puisne Judge
Norma Wade-Miller sentenced him to to seven years in prison for the arson offence,
concurrent with terms of six years for each of the five break-ins.
The appeal was argued on the grounds Mrs. Justice
Wade-Miller wrongly admitted evidence and wrongly rejected Dill's no case
submission with respect to the arson charge he was facing.
The Court of Appeal ruled that she should have accepted
the submission as there was not enough evidence to prove Dill willfully and deliberately
set a fire at Audio Visual Electronics in Somerset.
It set aside the conviction and sentence on the count of
arson, but dismissed the appeal against the convictions and sentences from the other
is any necessary?
Two convictions quashed in the same month - the same Judge responsible.
Of the Bermuda legal process, to include police
disciplinary procedures, I ask:
"Does perverting the course of
justice make the system less bent?"
Web author's crime
A web site
Vigodda's statistics are accurate but "extremely misleading," said
Bermuda Police Service Detective Superintendent Vic Richardson.
A press conference was held detailing Mr.
Vigodda's claim that Bermuda's crime rate is higher than Canada's, Detective
Supt. Richardson said "when Mr. Vigodda is using Canadian criminal
statistics in comparison with Bermuda's statistics, he's not comparing apples
with apples but apples with oranges."
Mr. Vigodda claims in 1996 3,004,615 crimes
were committed in Bermuda, while only 2,744,896 were committed in Bermuda during
the same year. Mr. Vigodda arrived at Bermuda's numbers by multiplying the
island's true crime rate of 6,510 (1996) by 461. A factor of 461 was used to
bring Bermuda's population of 65,000 in line with Canada's 30-million populous.
Det. Richardson explained that in 1996, of the
1,951 people accused of a crime in Bermuda, 27 were acquitted; 505 charges were
withdrawn by the complainant; 339 were cautioned; 23 offenders were considered;
381 were before the courts and 668 were convicted. Det. Richardson could not
explain the disappearance of eight accused from his tallies.
"When one looks at it as 1,951 placed
before the court, that's not the case. If so, we would have serious
problems," said Det. Richardson.
Mr. Vigodda's website read "...Either the
police are arresting the wrong people, the Attorney General's office has been
screwing up a lot or the government has been doctoring these statistics..."
The Boycott Bermuda website was set up on
December 15, 1998 by Belleville, Ontario resident Mr. Vigodda, after Judge
Vincent Meerabux ordered the jury to find Justis Smith, 19, not guilty of the
premeditated murder of Canadian teenager Rebecca Middleton who was vacationing
on the island with her friend Jasmin Meens when she murdered on July 3, 1996.
Comment: for statistics try: http://www.bermudaonion.com/crime.htm
But no matter what you think of statistics, for a population of 65,000, there's
one hell of a lot of police officers (about 1 in every 150 people is an officer)
yet still an awful amount of crime and most of this, it appears, goes undetected
or convictions do not follow.