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Justice Thom: Murder cases should take priority

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High Court Judge Gertel Thom wants murder cases dealt with more expeditiously at the Criminal Assizes.

Justice Thom made her feelings known to Director of Public Prosecutions, Colin Williams, on Monday, in the High Court, at the close of the January Criminal Assizes. Thom said that too many of the murder matters were being traversed to later assizes.{{more}} “There are just too many of these cases being traversed and too many persons awaiting trial,” Thom stated.

The judge added that priority must be given to such matters so they can be disposed of early.

The close of the Assizes saw 13 murder matters traversed to the next sitting of the High Court on May 5, 2009. Luke Williams and Anderson Williams were the only two men to be convicted of murder during the assizes.

In response, the DPP said that there were some very old murder matters on the list, with three of them listed for retrial. Williams added that the prosecution held off on a particular trial because one of the accused had another matter before the Privy Council and they were advised to stay their hand in relation to the matter.

Williams mentioned that another murder case was awaiting the preparation of a record, since it is slated for re-trial. He also said that two other matters on the list required specialist evidence to lead. He further noted that exhibits had been sent to North America for testing.

Adding to her list of concerns, Justice Thom noted too many cases of rape were surfacing at the court and appealed to the mothers in the courtroom to have closer supervision of their daughters. “I warn those jurors with daughters to teach them how to conduct themselves. There are just too many of our young girls who are sexually active,” Thom noted.(KW)

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