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Judge orders three accused to stand trial for murder


Concerns raised over a week ago by counsel in the Webster Woodley, Sheldon Bain and Michael Samuel murder matters about the manner in which their Preliminary Inquiry had been held, did not hold water with Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle.{{more}}

Justice Bruce-Lyle made his ruling on Monday after the matter had been adjourned last week Wednesday, and directed that there will be a trial for the three accused on December 9.

Counsel Nicole Sylvester, Kay Bacchus-Browne and Stephen Williams each submitted last week that the Inquiry was held under unconstitutional circumstances and was in breach of the criminal procedure code and due process of law. It was further noted that if a trial were held, it would be a breach of the accused constitutional rights and would result in a travesty of justice and any outcome would amount to a nullity and a miscarriage of justice.

In his ruling, the Judge stated that he carefully examined the case records at the Magistrates Court and the depositions of the five witnesses. He mentioned that each witness’ deposition was different in content with regard to all three matters. Bruce-Lyle noted that the defendants were in no way prejudiced, nor was the constitution of St Vincent and the Grenadines breached concerning the rights of the three accused for a fair trial.

Bruce-Lyle stated that counsel’s accusation that there was a “global P.I” could not stand or else the deposition from the witnesses in all three matters would have been identical. “What then is the basis of this grave allegation of taking all the evidence in a global manner, in respect of the three cases?” asked the judge.

Bruce-Lyle said he found it highly inconceivable that former Chief Magistrate Simone Churaman, who held the P.I, would breach the Criminal Procedure Code. “She would have had to be a genius to be able to do as alleged,” he stated.

He also said that allegations raised by counsels clearly cast a nasty slur on the magistrate (Churaman) and the whole administration of justice. “I am convinced that even the most incompetent of magistrates would not commit such a fundamental blunder as raised by defence,” said Bruce-Lyle.

Woodley, Samuel and Grenadian Sheldon Bain were charged with the murder of taxi operator Peter Joseph in August 2004; Bain and Woodley were charged with the murder of Livingston Primus of Sion Hill between November 29 and December 1, 2004, while Bain was charged with the double murders of Rose Claire Dupont Williams and Jeffrey “Lancy” Williams of Trigger Ridge, Redemption Sharpes on December 10 that same year.