Judge Stephenson, front, at opening of court
Judge Stephenson, front, at opening of court

Bestiality charge discontinued

Resident judge, Justice Birnie Stephenson, told a man from a western community at the Roseau High Court on Monday January 27, 2013: "You are a free man. You can walk out there a free man."

The individual had been charged by the state with bestiality with a female goat back in April 2012. The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions represented by State Attorney Sherma Dalrymple informed the judge that the DPP's office was serving a notice of discontinuance against the man. It would not be producing evidence against the man who had been on remand at the Stock Farm State Prison for 12 months.

Charges dropped

Two young men, Ronald James and Liston Lowe also walked away from the court free men that Monday when the virtual complainant said he would not be pressing charges.

The two reportedly burgled the dwelling house of Montgomery Sabin at Grange, Portsmouth on November 11, 2011 and stole items totaling in excess of $50,000.

Addressing the court on oath, Sabin said it was two years now since the matter had gone to court.

"Mr Lowe is a good friend – I would like to call off the matter. I am no longer interested" in proceeding and no one had threatened or paid him or offered him anything.

"I wish to offer no evidence," he said.

Justice Stephenson ordered that a restitution order for items recovered to be returned to Sabin. James, who was serving time on another matter, was returned to the State Prison, while Lowe was discharged. The judge warned both men to not return to court before her again.

Decision pending

Justice Stephenson informed the court that she would render her decision as soon as possible in two matters where the virtual complainants were seeking compensation for causing grievous bodily harm.

Shermel Christopher of Marigot, a mother of three children aged 15 years, 13 and eight, was found guilty by a mixed jury of throwing a substance in the face of Kafie Ferreira at Marigot in December of 2009 when her trial ended in October 2013. She was fined $3,000 and the victim was asked to seek compensation in due course.

Kennon Samuel of Giraudel struck Gaiel Registe to the neck with a cutlass at Giraudel in August of 2008. A mixed jury found him guilty of causing grievous bodily harm in October 2013. Justice Stephenson fined him $3,000 on the same day as Christopher on November 25, 2013. Again, the virtual complainant would seek appropriate compensation.

But David Bruney, the lawyer for Christopher and Samuel, wanted a means test to determine the ability of his clients to pay compensation. After duly looking at receipts and hearing from the two convicted persons in separate hearings, Christopher said she could only meet $150 per month and Samuel $50 a month, Justice Stephenson deferred her decision on the proceedings at the Roseau High Court on Monday January 27.

Three to get medical exam

Three other men, two of whom were charged with sexual offences, one having already pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse, and another for wounding were ordered to return to court on February 10 and February 17 with or without the medical evidence of their state of mind.

Justice Stephenson ordered that the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) or his representative to be served as well as the Government's psychiatrist to attend court on the days stipulated to give expert evidence.