By: Gavincia Clarke
(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- Patrick Howell Jr. who was charged with murder in 2011 and who was granted bail by a High Court Judge has found himself in trouble with the law again.
The Cane Garden resident appeared before the District ‘C’ Magistrate Court on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 allegedly accused of beating and using threatening language to Kevon Charles, a member of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force.
In Court, his Attorney, Ricaldo Caines sought to make an application for bail before Magistrate Pauline Hendrickson.
However, the Police Prosecution that was led by Inspector Stephen Hector came prepared and ready for a trial.
Caines told the Court that the defense was not prepared. According to him his client was charged with offenses that if found guilty he can face up to 18 months imprisonment. Caines further stated that his client was arrested on Friday, November 22 and was formally charged over the weekend. He said it was only on Tuesday that he got a look at the charges. He believes his client deserves a fair trial.
He said his client is a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, and he is not considered a ‘flight risk’. He added that his family is able to stand surety for him. As a result he asked for bail to be granted as the matter works its way through the Courts systems.
To this, Inspector Hector stated that the Prosecution came to Court ready for a trial on Tuesday or Wednesday, but if the applicant is not ready then bail must be denied. Hector then read Section 4 of the Bail Act which speaks to circumstances which bail can be denied.
Hector highlighted the fact that the applicant is currently on bail and is now accused of other offenses while on bail. Hector said the Prosecution was not sure that the applicant would not commit another offense while on bail for a second time. He told the Court to exercise its discretion and to look at the circumstances of the case, ‘the applicant is accused of beating and threatening not an ordinary civilian but a police officer’, he said.
Caines rebutted and commended the Prosecution for having the matter ready and willing to be heard so promptly since according to Caines other matters have been pending for such long periods. Nonetheless, Caines reminded the Court that the applicant should be given a fair trial. He said surveillance cameras need to be reviewed because there were witnesses to the incident from which the charge stemmed. Caines continued that if the case was to be brought forward now to please the Prosecution then it would be the word of two police officers against that of his client. Caines told the Court that it would not be fair since the defense was not ready for trial.
After hearing both arguments Magistrate Hendrickson made her ruling on Section 4 of the Bail Act. She stated that because the applicant was out on bail and is alleged to have committed a number of other offenses while on bail she will deny bail.
A court date was set for the matter to be heard on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.