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Police officers get tongue-lashing from Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle

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At the discontinuation of the Glenn Jackson murder trial on Wednesday at the High Court, Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle openly chided police officers Station Sergeant Trevor Bailey, Corporal Rudolph Bartholomew and Sergeant Selwyn Jack for what he called their “awful investigation”, in what, in his opinion, was the most important case in the history of St Vincent and the Grenadines in recent times.{{more}}

“I cannot for the love of me fathom how and why in this 21st century the Police Regulations continue to be flouted with impunity, or is it ignorance?”

Justice Bruce-Lyle said that it was clear that there was a glaring and baffling absence of a proper record of the confession in the case. “In the absence of such record, how is this Court to satisfy itself that nothing improper as constituting the definition of oppression took place, so as to render the confession admissible? In fact, the absence of a proper record makes one wonder what actually took place. Doubts begin to linger in my mind,” the judge continued.

“Why were these regulations, which are mandatory, to my mind, not followed?”

Justice Bruce-Lyle noted that none of the three star witnesses for the prosecution was able to answer to this question satisfactorily.

“These are veterans of the police force, attached to an elite unit – The Major Crimes Unit – how could they have faltered so badly? In fact, Station Sergeant Trevor Bailey, in an obvious show of being candid to the Court, admitted under cross-examination, and from questioning by me that he erred. In fact he erred very badly,” said the judge.

The Judge also heavily criticized the “comical evidence” from Corporal Bartholomew. He noted that Bartholomew’s “jottings” in his personal diary for his own reference breached the Police Regulations. “I ask myself, why these omissions, why were the “jottings’ made in his personal diary? Why not in his official police notebook? I don’t wish to dwell too much on the notes made by Corporal Bartholomew for reasons of absurdity,” said Bruce-Lyle.

He ended by stating that there was a “Pot-pourri of bungling and flouting procedures to a level that will amaze every right thinking person.” (KW)

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