Police may face
lawsuit following desertion case
by Matthew Taylor
The Policeman acquitted after being accused of desertion is set to sue the
Last week Senior Magistrate
Archibald Warner threw out the case against P.c. Rickie Joseph, 31, whom the
Crown had tried to prosecute under the Police Act of 1974 for desertion.
During the trial P.c. Joseph had broken down into tears as he claimed
colleagues roughed him up after arresting him on July 3 as he attempted to
leave Bermuda on a flight for New York.
It led Mr. Warner to called for an investigation into the Police Service.
One Police source said: “He’s
considering whether to do them civilly.” The Royal Gazette
understands he has left the island to return to his native St. Lucia but
will be back in two weeks to launch the legal case.
P.c. Joseph said he was
assaulted by senior officers while in Police custody in an airport holding
room as they shoved him around, strip searched him and pulled him about
while he was handcuffed. P.c. Joseph has
filed a formal complaint against Inspector Calvin Smith.
The case has left Police
dismayed. One officer said: “People are
left thinking it’s an absolute farce.” He
said he didn’t know what prosecutors were thinking when they launched the
case and feared they wanted to make an example of P.c. Joseph after several
other officers broke their contracts without giving the requisite month’s
“If they were trying to make an
example of him it certainly backfired,” said the source.
Last night the Bermuda Police Association said it could not comment about
Last week the Police press department said in light of P.c. Joseph’s
acquittal, the Service was to consider whether changes are needed in the law
dealing with the prosecution of serving officers.
Director of Public Prosecutions Vinette Graham-Allen did not return a call
from The Royal Gazette.