December Criminal Assizes concluded with two matters heard and others traversed until April

By: Gavincia Clarke

(CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS)- The December Nevis High Court Criminal Assizes came to a close on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

During the assizes two of the scheduled matters were heard and three were traversed until April 2014.

Alistair Isaac who was unrepresented in court, had his matter traversed until April 2014. He was charged with armed robbery and rape. Meanwhile Isaac will continue serving his prison sentence after being convicted in November 2012 for wounding and robbery.

The matter involving Geoffery Romany who was accused of fraudulent conversion was also traversed until April of next year.

A new matter, that of Ozandy Collins who was on bail is now remanded until April. Collins was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge. The young lad had his bail revoked after he was a ‘no show’ in court on Thursday.

Neither the accused nor his Lawyer, Ricaldo Caines were in court on Thursday. His Lordship was informed that Collins was aware that he was supposed to be in Court on that day. Thereafter, His Lordship issued a bench warrant on the accused. The Lawyer appeared in court sometime after and said he was unaware that he was suppose to be in court and when he contacted his client he too said no one notified him that he was supposed to be in court for 9:00 a.m. Unfortunately, His Lordship, Justice Albert Redhead said he was reliably informed that Collins knew that he was supposed to be in court and as a result his bail was revoked.

The matter involving Sylvester Merchant was one of the two matters that were heard. He was found guilty of unlawful carnal knowledge and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.

Merchant, who was represented by Dr. Henry Browne, Q.C., is expected to appeal the decision.

The second matter to be heard was that of Kimron Lawrence and Orlando Hylton. Lawrence who is of Nevisian descent and Hylton, a national of Jamaica were both charged with rape and robbery. However, after days of battle in court between the prosecution and defense, the duo walked out of court free men after the jurors returned a not guilty verdict against each. The defense was able to prove its case and the duo that spent over 3 years in prison were free from all charges.

The case that began last year was aborted prematurely after their attorney at the time; Lawyer Denzil Hinds was charged with contempt of court by His Lordship Justice Paul Dennis. Hinds was sentenced to 10 days imprisonment.

He appealed the matter and is awaiting the outcome. As a result the case was re-assigned to Lawyer Chesley Hamilton and Dr. Henry Browne QC.

Nevispages has learnt that there was no concrete evidence to link the defendants to the charges. It is said that there was DNA present; however, the DNA did not match any of the defendants. The Prosecution failed to prove to the court and the jurors who matched the DNA profile found.

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