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Charges against principal withdrawn in Rock Gutter case

Charges against  principal withdrawn  in Rock Gutter case

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Teary eyes, broken voices and sad faces; such was the scene of a tense Preliminary Inquiry (PI) into the Rock Gutter incident at the Serious Offences Court on Wednesday.{{more}}

Parents of the students who perished on January 12 last year were forced to relive their last moments with their beloved ones, as they took the stand to give evidence.

Tracy Barnard, an eight-year medical practitioner in the area of surgical pathology and Shelland Hoyte, a nurse at the Fancy Health Centre, who was also an occupant of the omnibus that ran off the road and plunged into the sea at Rock Gutter were two of the witnesses who stood before the court.

They were followed by parents of the deceased children, who were either pronounced or presumed dead on the day of the tragedy.

14-year-old Jamalie and his brother 12-year-old Jamal Edwards, 18-year-old Racquel Ashton, 16-year-old Glenroy Michael and Anique Alexander perished in the January 12, 2015 accident, when minibus HL636, driven by Nanton, ran off the road and into the sea at Rock Gutter. Chanstacia Stay and Simonique Ballantyne were never found and are presumed dead.

Racquel’s father, Junior Bowens, who is a primary school teacher; Simone Ballantyne, mother of Simonique; Nelcia Stay, mother of Chanstacia; Gloridene Hoyte-John, mother of Glenroy; Jemma Edwards, mother of Jamailie and Jamal Edwards; and Metheline Alexander, mother of Anique, were among the parents who testified on Wednesday.

The remaining witnesses are said to be students. Senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche told the court that he has no intention interrupting their exam period.

Delpesche requested an adjournment to coincide with the summer break.

In turn, Ravannan Nanton, who is represented by Israel Bruce and Ehud Myers, who is represented by Grant Connell, are expected to reappear before the Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias on August 8, 2016.

However, charges against principal of the Fancy Government School Colbert Bowens were withdrawn.

When approached by SEARCHLIGHT both Bowens and his lawyer Duane Daniel declined to comment. (AS)

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