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Head of MCU should make public apology – Sergeant

Head of MCU should make public apology – Sergeant

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Station Sergeant 432 Elgin Richards, a member of the National Prosecution Service, thinks that Head of the Major Crimes Unit (MCU) Inspector Atland Browne should apologize for his behavior at the Serious Offences Court on Monday.

During a Preliminary Inquiry at the Serious Offences Court, {{more}}Browne disregarded the instructions of Station Sergeant Richards, after tensions rose between Browne and lawyer Grant Connell.

Richards had instructed Browne to answer a question put to him by Connell when Browne reminded him of his rank.

“You are a station sergeant. Relax,” he told Richards, who did not respond.

However, Connell immediately called this to Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias’s attention, who in turn stated that she would return to her chambers until both parties were ready to conduct themselves properly.

For a second time during Connell’s cross examination, Browne was told by Richards to answer a question and once again cited his rank. Also in court at the time, lawyer Israel Bruce, who shared the defense bench with Connell, urged Browne to follow the instructions of the prosecutor when the incident repeated itself.

Bruce told Browne to refrain from citing his rank to the Station Sergeant, explaining that while in court Richards is an officer of the court and not a Station Sergeant of police.

“You don’t know the rules of our organization,” Browne replied, while continuing to display what Connell later described as “childish behavior”.

Sergeant Richards expressed his disappointment in Browne during a telephone conversation with SEARCHLIGHT last Wednesday.

“I didn’t expect that response from him. I expect that somebody with his rank and so that he should know how to behave when he’s in a court setting”, Station Sergeant Richards said.

Richards then stated that if Browne is to make an apology, it should be public and that he should return to the court and apologize.

The station sergeant agreed with remarks made by the lawyers, that Browne’s conduct was indeed unprofessional.

“Police officers are trained to withstand any storm. When you’re on the stand, you are told to stand a certain way, to speak a certain way, to behave a certain way and that is expected.

“You are trained how to give evidence. Police officers are not like the ordinary man and woman who may come to court from time to time. Police officers are trained,” Richards explained.

He also stated that the publicity that the incident has received is something that the police force could do without because it is negative.

When SEARCHLIGHT contacted Browne, he redirected the call to the Commissioner of Police Michael Charles, who on Wednesday indicated that he was informed of the incident by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and the matter is being looked into.

Lawyer Connell has also called for an apology from Inspector Browne, as in his opinion, the Inspector raised his voice and disrespected the court during the hearing.

Connell, on Wednesday, asked a client, Junior Nash, who was being tried for causing the death of Dexter Weekes (resident of Montrose who was stabbed and killed last October) to apologize to the court for an earlier outburst.

Connell had indicated that due to his client’s actions and disrespect, he wished to be removed from record but after having a word with his client, on Wednesday, Nash apologized to the court, the prosecution and the Magistrate for his disrespect.

After Magistrate Browne-Matthias accepted Nash’s apology, Connell went on record and called for the apology from Inspector Browne stating that he should do the same as Nash.

“I will hope that the prisoner will set a precedent to the president of the MCU for his disrespect, and he should do likewise for disrespecting the court,” Connell said.

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