Adderley v Attorney General

JurisdictionBahamas
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeWatkins, J.
Judgment Date10 Sep 2013
Docket NumberBAL 274 of 2003

Supreme Court

Watkins, J.

BAL 274 of 2003

Adderley
and
Attorney General
Appearances:

Mr. K. Seymour for the applicant

Ms. M. Zancola for the respondent

Criminal practice and procedure - Bail — Standard to be considered on an application for bail — Likelihood of the applicant absconding and not returning for trial — Interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice — Nature and strength of evidence against the defendant — Section 4 of the Bail (Amendment) Act.

Constitutional Law - Fundamental rights and freedoms – Right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time – What constitutes a reasonable time – Article 20(1) and 19(3) of the constitution.

Watkins, J. The applicant who is 28 years of age and a Bahamian citizen was arraigned in the Magistrate's Court on 12th February, 2013 in case No. 413/13 (113-011416) on three (3) counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life contrary to section 33 of the Firearms Act, Chapter 213. Particulars of the offence state that on Thursday, 7th February, 2013 the applicant, while at New Providence did have in his possession a firearm with intent by means thereof to endanger the life of Adrian Miller, Maurice Arthur and Benson Miller. All of the complainants in this matter are police officers.

2

The applicant is also charged with one count of armed robbery contrary to section 339(2) of the Penal Code, Chapter, 84, while being concerned with another in case No. 408/13 (1-13-011072). The particulars are that the applicant and another on 6th February, 2013 at New Providence, while armed with a handgun, did rob Mario Connolly of a gold chain and charm valued at seven thousand dollars ($7, 000.).

3

In case No. 415/13 (1-13-011980) the applicant is charged with one count of threats of death contrary to section 418 of the Penal Code, Chapter 84. The particulars are that the applicant on 7th February, 2013 at New Providence did intentionally and unlawfully threaten Alexia Fox with death with the intent to put her in fear of death.

4

Upon arraignment the applicant denied the charges against him. Bail was denied and the applicant was remanded to Her Majesty's Prison (HMP). He now seeks bail by way of Summons filed on 3rd July, 2013. An Affidavit (the Affidavit) in support of the Summons was filed on the same date. The contents of the Affidavit have been duly noted. The respondent has not filed an Affidavit in Response.

5

Counsel for the respondent has provided the Court with photocopies of statements taken from the virtual complainants and other witnesses who are listed on the Court Dockets in the above-mentioned matters. I have perused the same. A summary of the case for the prosecution with respect to the charges of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life is as follows:

  • • on Thursday 7th February, 2013 Detective Corporal 405 Adrian Miller (Cpl. Miller), Detective Constable 2609 Maurice Arthur (PC Arthur) and Police Constable Benson Miller (PC Miller) responded to a request from a police unit for assistance at Cascarilla Street, Pinewood Gardens with respect to a number of armed robberies. While there they received information from a “female” who indicated that Reynaldo Adderley was her boyfriend

  • • at approximately 3:15pm the Cpl Miller, PC Arthur and PC Miller returned to the same area after receiving information about Reynaldo Adderley. While there the same “female” indicated that Reynaldo Adderley threatened to kill her and members of her family. The “female” received a phone call. The call was placed “on speaker”. The “male” on the phone told the “female” that he was going to “kill her for talking” and that he was “coming there now”

  • • at approximately 3:30pm the complainants were on patrol in the area of Pinewood Gardens

  • • the applicant, who was “wanted by the Central Detective Unit (CDU) for murder”, was observed driving a gold coloured Honda vehicle

  • • Cpl. Miller, PC Arthur and PC Miller pursued the vehicle and made attempts to stop same by using the fog horn, revolving lights and siren of the vehicle in which they were travelling. The applicant accelerated speed and drove through a number of stop signs

  • • the applicant's vehicle came to a stop at Rosewood Street when it crashed into a parked flat bed truck

  • • the applicant got out of the vehicle and ran into a vacant lot with high bushes. PC Arthur and Cpl. Miller pursued him

  • • the applicant pointed a black firearm in the direction of PC Arthur and fired several shots. As a result PC Arthur was injured in his head

6

A summary of the case for the prosecution with respect to the charge of armed robbery is as follows:

• the complainant Mario Connolly (Connolly) was sweeping the porch area at the outside of his residence at approximately 11:00am on 6th February, 2013. He was wearing a gold chain and pendant at the time

  • • two “males” approached Connolly. One of the “males” grabbed Connolly's chain. Connolly struggled with the “male” who was grabbing his chain. The other “male” stood a short distance away with a handgun

  • • Connolly ran away from the “males”. Both “males” chased and caught up with Connolly. They beat Connolly “about his head and body” and took his gold chain from his neck

  • • the two “males” got into a vehicle and drove away. Connolly identified the driver of the vehicle as the applicant whom he knew “from living in the Pinewood Gardens area”

7

A summary of the case for the prosecution with respect to the charge of threats of death is as follows:

  • • during the month of September of 2012 Alexia Fox started a relationship with “Renaldo” Adderley

  • • around 9:00am on 7th February, 2012 “Renaldo” parked his vehicle in Ms. Fox's yard and left it there.

  • • around 12:00pm the same day the police went to Ms. Fox's house and told her that the vehicle was “involved in several armed robberies”

  • • while the police were at her house Ms. Fox received a phone call from “Renaldo”.

  • • “Renaldo” told Ms. Fox to tell the police officers that the car was owned by “a male named Rick”. “Renaldo” also told Ms. Fox that if she told the police that the vehicle was his he was coming back to kill Ms. Fox and her family

  • • Ms. Fox is said she is “in fear for her life”. She also said that she knows that “Renaldo” owns a black handgun and that she has seen the handgun on several occasions. She said “Renaldo” would normally conceal the handgun behind the radio on the inside of his vehicle

8

The applicant's right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time is entrenched in the Constitution of The Bahamas (the Constitution). Article 20(1) of The Constitution provides as follows:

20 (1) If any person is charged with a criminal offence, then, unless the charge is withdrawn, the case shall be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law

9

Article 19(3) provides as follows:

19(3) Any person who is arrested or detained in such a case as is mentioned in subparagraph (1)(c) or (d) of this Article and who is not released shall be brought without undue delay before a court; and if any person arrested or detained in such a case as is mentioned in the said subparagraph 1(d) is not tried within a reasonable time he shall (without prejudice to any further proceedings that may be brought against him) be released either conditionally or upon reasonable conditions, including in particular such conditions as a reasonably necessary to ensure that he appears at a later date for trial or for proceedings preliminary to trial

10

In the case of The Attorney General v. Bradley Ferguson, Kermit Evans, Stephen Stubbs and Kenton Deon Knowles [2009] 3 BHS J No. 129 (the Bradley Ferguson case) consideration was given to the issue of what ought to be considered a reasonable time. Sawyer P at paragraph 37 of her Judgment stated:

“37. Murder, armed robbery and trafficking of dangerous drugs were among the offences for which bail was not granted …. unless the person so charged could not be tried within A REASONABLE TIME. I BEAR IN MIND THAT THE PHRASE “A REASONABLE TIME” FOR THE PURPOSES OF ARTICLE 20(1) OF THE CONSTITUTION WAS...

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