December 20, 2013
Prison population increases in 2013

The 2013 Criminal Assizes came to a close at the High Court on Tuesday.

The prison population now stands at 493, an increase of 33 over last year. {{more}}

Chief Prison Officer Brenton Charles, who presented the prison list, indicated that currently, there are 12 female prisoners at Fort Charlotte, 259 male prisoners housed at the new Belle Isle facility and the remainder at Her Majesty’s Prison in Kingstown.

Two hundred and forty-four prisoners were sentenced by the magistrates court and 150 by the High Court.

There are 38 non-nationals serving sentences, while five remain on remand. Persons on remand stand at 87.

At the close of the assizes, addresses were heard from crown counsel in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and other members of the legal fraternity.

The prosecution team at the assizes was led by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Colin Williams, Assistant DPP Colin John, crown counsel Carl Williams, Karim Nelson and Tameka Dasilva-McKenzie.

Sharing brief remarks, the DPP described this assizes as “okay”, and stated that they executed cases well, despite losing one of the office’s crown counsel, Ayanna Baptiste-Dabreo, who has taken up duties in another jurisdiction.

Another crown counsel, Sejilla McDowall, is currently on a temporary stint at the Registry as Deputy Registrar.

“It is a lucky thing that we had enough personnel to be able to lend the registry a staff member and that Miss Baptiste-Dabreo has migrated…,” the DPP said.

Judges Frederick Bruce-Lyle and Wesley James presided over the trials.(KW)