October 30, 2009
DPP – Bowman lawyers could file civil action

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has decided not to indict anyone in relation to the death of Patricia Bowman.{{more}}

In a letter dated October 14, 2009, addressed to Nicole Sylvester, one of the lawyers who represents the estate of Patricia and Alban Bowman, the DPP stated: “In keeping with the Law and practice, the learned Chief Magistrate forwarded the transcripts of the proceedings to me.

“I have decided not to pursue this matter by indicting any company or individual.”

The coroner’s inquest into the death of Patricia Bowman ended on Friday, September 18, 2009, at the Serious Offences Court. A five-member jury ruled Bowman’s cause of death as manslaughter, a result of negligence on the part of the engineering company and the contractors.

On Friday, September 19, 2008, 67-year-old Patricia Bowman tragically lost her life when, after days of heavy rain, a huge section of the retaining wall at the property of Alex Jack at Ratho Mill broke and buried her car.

The DPP told Searchlight late Wednesday evening his decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the facts.

“When I reviewed the decision of the coroner’s jury and also the evidence on which they based their decision, it didn’t make practical sense to proceed.”

“I understand how Bowman feels, he is grieving, but I don’t think it should trouble the criminal law,” the DPP said.

“His attorneys have practical experience filing private criminal complaints. If they feel so moved, that is an avenue open to them,” he added.

Speaking to Searchlight on behalf of Caribbean International Law Firm which represents the Bowman family, lawyer Patina Knights said that they are “very disappointed and concerned” that no sanctions are being brought against persons at this time, after the verdict of the coroner’s inquest held persons responsible.

“For no sanctions to be brought against anyone after such a verdict, we think it is a very sad day in the administration of justice and we are very concerned about the turn of events,” Knights said. She added that they are considering their next legal step and that no firm decisions have been made.

The inquest began on Monday May 25, 2009, and saw several witnesses testifying in the case, including Glenford Stewart of Stewart Engineering, Kerrin Burgess, a civil engineer from Trinidad and Tobago, a Meteorological officer and the contractor Josiah David.

Following the conclusion of the case in September, 2009, Searchlight spoke to lawyer Nicole Sylvester who said the jury’s decision supports the contention of her client that someone should be held responsible for Bowman’s unnatural death. (OS)