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Serious Offences Court short-staffed

Serious Offences Court short-staffed


A shortage of process police staff at the Serious Offences Court yesterday saw court being adjourned without a case being heard.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT arrived in court at about 9:30 a.m. and at that time, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias had called a brief adjournment of proceedings.

A usually reliable source told SEARCHLIGHT that only two of the five police officers from process were on duty that morning.

Our source further explained that two others worked the weekend shift and another officer fell ill that morning and had to leave.

After the Chief Magistrate returned, she said that the court will be adjourned until today, Tuesday.

Following her announcement, approximately 14 prisoners who were seated in court looked at each other in disbelief about what had taken place.

They were remanded.

When contacted, senior prosecutor in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Adolphus Delpesche confirmed what had happened and said the magistrate, in her wisdom, deemed it unsafe to have court.

“You know this is the Serious Offences Court and you know it’s really rough here on a Monday morning especially. So that was why she adjourned court, so that things could be rectified,” Delpesche said.

Delpesche said, in his opinion, the staff, at the court needs to be strengthened.

“You need more men in the court. The Serious Offences Court especially. That’s all I will say for now,” he added.(KW)