From the Courts
June 8, 2007
120 cases set for June assizes

08.June.07

The June Assizes opened at the High Court in Kingstown on Tuesday with an unprecedented list of 120 cases slated to come before High Court Judge Frederick Bruce Lyle.

Of the 143 persons accused of 157 different offences, only 4 pleas of guilty were entered,{{more}} with a record number of 114 not guilty pleas being given. The number of violent crimes is rather alarming; there were 17 murder cases in which two of the accused are women. There are 26 separate cases of wounding with intent and seven cases of assault resulting in actual bodily harm were brought forward. 16 cases of rape as well as four cases of incest are down to be heard.

12 of the accused didn’t turn up to enter pleas, although Searchlight understands that two of the missing accused are patients at the Mental Health facility in Villa. There were feasible excuses for the absence of others, but bench warrants have been issued for three of the accused.

Of the accused, two were acquitted of all charges and were told that they were free to go. There were 14 cases of robbery and numerous attempted robbery cases, in many of those cases the assailants were armed.

Many matters were adjourned and 13 were traversed to the next session of the assizes which are to be held in September instead of October, for as Justice Bruce Lyle stated “We need every day, every hour, every week” in order to be able to get through the list of cases.(VM)