From the Courts
December 1, 2017
Prosecutor objects to bail for man accused of attempted murder

The court has a duty to protect society where persons have expressed fear for their life.

So said prosecutor Shamrock Pierre, while objecting to bail for Atiba Franklyn, a man charged with attempted murder, this Tuesday at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

Franklyn is charged that on November 25 at Diamonds, with intent to commit the murder of Ochoaco Hamilton of Diamonds, he did an act which was more than merely preparatory to this offence.

Pierre, rising to object to bail, said that although bail is a right, it is not absolute. He said the allegations made against Franklyn were very serious and that Hamilton “has expressed fear for his life, having been released from the hospital [Monday] night.” Further, Pierre brought to the attention of the court that Franklyn was on bail for similar offences before the Serious Offences Court. He asked that Franklyn be remanded in custody.

Defence lawyer Grant Connell stated that with regard to what he termed the ‘fear factor’, there were other ways to shackle the defendant, such as reporting conditions. Connell also had objection to Pierre’s suggestion that he seek bail from the High Court if it was denied at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

He termed this the Pontius Pilate approach, saying that they were seeking to wash their hands of the matter. He stated that there was no reason why bail could not be granted at the Magistrate’s Court, saying, “Why are we bombarding the High Court with (matters) which can be dealt with here?”

Nevertheless, magistrate Bertie Pompey denied bail for Franklyn, given the fact that he was on bail for other offences, transferring the matter to the Serious Offences Court for the next day.

On Wednesday, Franklyn appeared at the Serious Offences Court, and the date for the start of the Preliminary Inquiry on the matter was set for February 26 next year.(KR)