By:St.Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Nevis’ Circuit resumed its sitting before Her Ladyship Justice Lorraine Williams on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
The matter before the court was that of Lawton Forbes, a resident of Hamilton Estate who was charged for armed robbery. Forbes pleaded not guilty to the allegation.
The matter was halted for a few days after one of the Prosecution’s witnesses refused to give evidence and was charged for contempt of court.
Prosecution lawyer, Dane Hamilton Q.C. filed an application before the Court for the trial to be traversed and retried. He indicated to Her Ladyship, that the accused is entitled to a fair trial and the circumstances that have occurred throughout the case could impede that from happening. The lawyer was of the belief, that a few issues need to be settled before the matter continues. He told the court that once those issues were resolved, then the hearing may resume.
Defense lawyer for the accused, Ms. Natasha Gray told the Court that she was also of the view of having the matter traversed. She indicated to Her Ladyship, that the case against the defendant should be heard at a later date because of the predicaments. Ms. Gray noted that the defense will be prepared for whenever the case is rescheduled.
After listening attentively to both sides, Her Ladyship noted that the case was indeed one of complexity. She told the jury that because they witnessed certain things during the trial, it may have an effect on their judgment and for the sake of fairness, a different set of jurors will sit on the case. Her Ladyship told the jury that it was not a matter that their credibility had been questioned but absolute impartiality must be exercised. Justice Williams told the panel of jurors, that they were placed in a difficult position to do such. In closing, she thanked the jury for their patience and punctuality throughout the trial noting that their task was one surrounded by difficulties.
The matter is set to be retried in November 2016.