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12 year old murder accused remains in custody at police station

12 year old murder accused remains in  custody at police station

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The 12-year old girl who was charged with the murder of 15-year-old Moesha Primus has been remanded under police guard at the Central Police Station in Kingstown.

The minor appeared before the Family Court on Monday and was charged with murder following an incident that occurred at Lowmans Leeward on June 18. {{more}}

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, commissioner of police Michael Charles emphasized that the 12-year-old has not been placed in the holding cells that normal prisoners are, but instead is being housed alone in a special section on the compound.

Charles also said that family members have been allowed to visit the accused but must get permission from the head of prisons, as is normal for those who have been incarcerated.

A legal expert had pointed out that with a minor being charged for murder, challenges arise because those charged with murder are not granted bail; and where would a minor be placed while he/she awaits the preliminary inquiry and subsequent trial?

Commissioner Charles said that to the best of his knowledge, the minor will be kept at the Central Police Station until further notice.

When questioned about how it will be decided where the minor serves her term if she is found guilty of the crime, the COP responded: “This is not my jurisdiction really. I know that if and when that time comes, I am certain that the police would be involved in such discussion.”

The 12-year-old is being represented by Samantha Robertson, Israel Bruce and Mikhail Charles. The preliminary inquiry has been set for September 11, 2015.

The legal expert also explained that even though the age of criminal responsibility (the age at which one can be charged and found guilty of a crime) in St Vincent and the Grenadines is eight years old, the problem in SVG is that there is no suitable facility in which to send a minor to serve his/her sentence, if convicted of a crime.

Persons under the age of 16 cannot be incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Prisons, as minors must not be mixed with adult convicts. (JSV)

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