Magistrate summons police officer after no show in court
A warrant was issued, and the Commissioner of Police notified after a police officer did not answer a summons to come to the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court as a witness this week.
During a trial surrounding allegations of assault bodily harm and damage to property, a police constable was mentioned several times by both sides as having information on the situation.
Because of this, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett summoned PC 823 Joanna Thompson to the court, and this was served to her by the process department of the police force.
However, when the matter was called again this Wednesday, July 15, Thompson was absent.
Prosecutor Corlene Samuel relayed that she was told that the officer is at work. Samuel assured that the constable had been served and knows that she has to come to court.
The magistrate took the decision to issue a warrant to secure her attendance.
“I expect somebody to inform the Commissioner of Police (COP) about this,” the displeased judiciary officer stated.
“I really cannot believe this,” he said, commenting that the police officer had been served to be in court, and is not present, and without having provided any good reason for such.
The magistrate told the officers present that he hopes someone informs the COP “right away”,
and noted that the officer had a duty to be there yet she disobeyed the summons.
The message the magistrate told them to relay to the top cop is that he is “not at all pleased about this.”
He said that it can’t be that a police officer refuses to come to court when his/ her name is called.
“I hope whosoever is going to serve her is firm enough to bring her in court. Physically bring her,” Burnett stated.
A corporal of police later explained to the magistrate that the individual said she thought the matter was the following day, and further that he had spoke to her supervisor.
The magistrate stated that this cannot be, commenting “when you hold certain offices, you have to do the responsibility of that office.”
PC 823 Joanna Thompson was in court the following day, after the matter was adjourned.
The magistrate informed her of the situation, that he had been displeased, and had asked that the Commissioner be informed.
The officer told him that she was on duty and because of this “it slipped” her that she had to be in court.