From the Courts
November 3, 2017
St Lucian granted bail, despite objection of prosecution

A St Lucian man has been given bail for two assault charges, despite the prosecutor’s concern that he would not remain on the island to stand trial.

Joven Alexander was charged at the Calliaqua Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday with committing two separate offences on October 27.

He is charged with, on that day, entering as a trespasser in a Clare Valley residence and attempting to assault a young lady of the residence and secondly, with intending to commit the offence of indecent assault against a lady of Campden Park and doing acts more than merely preparatory to this offence, on the same day.

Alexander pleaded not guilty to both offences before magistrate Zoila Browne.

The prosecutor objected to bail when asked by the magistrate and stated that the defendant, being a St Lucian national and “given the porous nature of our shores,” could easily leave if he were granted bail. It further came to light in the prosecutor’s submission that the defendant was supposed to leave St Vincent on the day he came before the court and if he was granted bail, it was believed he “will not return to our shores to stand trial on these matters.” He further stated that the matters were very serious and asked that they be adjourned and transferred to the Family Court.

Lawyer for the defence Grant Connell stated that the defendant had come to St Vincent legally and he had not broken any laws per se, as the charges were “allegations”. Connell stated that St Lucia is “21 miles away, [and] if he goes, he can be brought back.”

He further stated that it would defeat the purpose of bail if Alexander was denied bail simply because he was a non-national and that this “should not be a ground for bail.”

After hearing both submissions, the Magistrate granted cash bail in the sum of $7,000 to the defendant and asked that he surrender all travel documents and a stop order placed on all ports.

The matter was adjourned to November 7, when it will be heard before the Family Court.(KR)