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Remand prisoner fatally wounded by police at courthouse

Remand prisoner fatally wounded by police at courthouse

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Two bullets at close range brought an end to the life of Anthony Hamilton.{{more}}

A source told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that Hamilton, also known as “Scarface”, was shot in the upper chest and right side, following an attempt to escape police custody, in the vicinity of the washroom of the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday morning.

The convicted rapist and burglar, who had, only weeks before, been released from Her Majesty’s Prison, after serving 17 years, had requested a bathroom break from the Serious Offences Court, located on the upper floor of the same building in Paul’s Avenue.

Hamilton was back in custody, following robbery and assault charges, based on an incident on April 28, two weeks after his release from jail.

SEARCHLIGHT understands that Hamilton was “misbehaving” while at the Serious Offences Court. He then asked to be taken to the washroom, located on the ground floor of the building.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the prisoner was escorted to the washroom in handcuffs, and a police source told SEARCHLIGHT that after the restraints were removed for the man, said to be in his forties, to defecate, he proceeded to wrestle with the officers, in a bid to escape.

According to the source, this led to Hamilton being shot.

Officials presiding at the Serious Offences Court, including Chief Magistrate Sonya Young, rushed to the scene. The incident led to the unscheduled adjournment of court for the day, and the closing of the offices of the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

The Kingstown Magistrate’s Court is currently on vacation.

As members of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and Major Crimes Unit (MCU) carried out investigations, Hamilton was pronounced dead by private physician Dr Wayne Murray.

The body was removed from the building shortly after midday.

Other sections of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force were on hand to regulate traffic and control the crowd in the area.

Hamilton, originally from Rilland Hill, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for rape and burglary in 1998, and was released last month.

He was detained shortly after his release and charged with threatening to kill Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and other public officials, but was acquitted of that charge.

Two weeks before his death, Hamilton, said to be armed with a cutlass and a knife, allegedly robbed a security guard of a cellular phone.

His shooting brings to four the number of persons shot by police in ten days, his being the only fatal incident.

The Police Public Relations Department has not, as they do in most homicide cases, released a statement on the shooting, but referred SEARCHLIGHT to the Commissioner of Police Keith Miller. Despite repeated calls, we were unable to reach Miller up to press time, and neither did he return any of our messages.

A post mortem was expected to have been carried out on Wednesday.

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