Antonio Thompson v Director of Public Prosecutions

JudgeDarville Gomez, J.
Judgment Date03 May 2023
Docket Number2018/CRI/bal/No.00892
CourtSupreme Court (Bahamas)
Antonio Thompson
Director of Public Prosecutions

The Honourable Madam Justice Camille Darville Gomez




Criminal Division


Miss Cassie Bethel for the Applicant

Mr. Eucal Bonaby and Ms. Syklar Deveaux for the Respondent

Darville Gomez, J.

The Applicant, 23 year old Antonio Thompson is charged with Abetment to Attempted Murder contrary to Section 86(1) and 292 of the Penal Code, Chapter 84. The particulars are: ‘That you on Friday 24 th March, 2023, while at New Providence being concerned with others did purposely aid and abet in committing the offence of Attempted Murder, of Theo Williams.


The Applicant was arraigned before Magistrate's Court No. 11 on the 30 th day of March, 2023. He is currently on remand at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (‘BDOCS’).


The Applicant applied for Bail pursuant to section 4 of the Bail Act by way of Summons and supporting Affidavit on the 12 th April, 2023.


The Respondents filed an Affidavit in Response to Bail on the 2 nd May, 2023 objecting to the grant of bail and giving reasons why it ought to be denied.


At paragraph 8 of his Affidavit, the Applicant admitted to having two pending matters before the Court for Murder and Causing Harm however, that he has no previous convictions.


The Applicant swore that he is innocent of the charge and the grant of bail will allow him to adequately prepare his defence and afford him the opportunity to financially support himself and assist his family members.


He maintained that if he is granted bail that he would abide by all conditions imposed by the Court and therefore, he is a fit and proper candidate for bail.


Counsel for the Applicant submitted that the Crown failed to produce any evidence to suggest that the Plaintiff is a flight risk, will interfere with the witnesses in this matter, or that he will re-offend if granted bail.


Defence Counsel also highlighted that the offences listed on the Applicant's criminal records antecedent form are not of a similar nature to the present charge which charges include (i) possession of dangerous drugs; (ii) causing harm; (iii) assault with a dangerous instrument; (iv) unlawfully carrying arms and (v) breach of bail. These convictions were for minor offences when compared to the existing charge.


She concluded that while the seriousness of an offence is a consideration for bail, it is not the only consideration a court should take into account when determining whether to grant or refuse bail; that there was no evidence to suggest that the Applicant is a flight risk, will interfere with witnesses or will re-offend if granted bail.


Therefore, in the circumstances she submitted that the prosecution has not submitted any evidence to show why the Applicant should not be granted bail.


In rebuttal regarding the conviction for breach of bail (3 counts) she pointed out that there was no allegation that the Applicant had not signed in at the police station only that he had failed to charge his device or keep it at the minimum charge. However, if given another chance she submitted that he would comply.


The Crown relied on its Affidavit in Response to support its objection to the grant of bail. According to the Crown's Affidavit, bail should be denied because there is cogent evidence in this matter and that the Antecedent Form showed that the Applicant had been convicted of three counts of breach of bail


In support of their objection to bail, the Crown submitted a report at Exhibit “TB-2” of its Affidavit which verified that an off duty police officer observed the incident which took place on the 24 th March, 2023, he immediately contacted the police control room and proceeded to follow the vehicle that sped off from the scene. The officer stated in his report that of the three men, one was known to him. He watched them turn into a fenced yard, parked the car and exit the vehicle. A short while after a few marked police vehicles arrived on scene.


The Crown also submitted that and the Applicant has previously breached bail conditions on three (3) occasions as evidenced by his Antecedent Form attached to the Affidavit in Response at Exhibit “TB-4”. He argued that the Applicant's failure to charge his electronic monitoring device supported their argument that he will not comply with any conditions the court imposed should it grant bail to the Applicant.


Therefore, he asserted that the Applicant is not a fit and proper candidate for the grant of bail for the reasons mentioned above.


The issue at hand is whether the Applicant, Antonio Thompson should be granted or refused bail.


Article 20(1) of the Constitution provides that:

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.”


And at 20 (2)(a) that:

“Every person who is charged with a criminal offence — (a) shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved or has pleaded guilty;…


According to the Bail Act, 1994 (Amendment 37 of 2011), Section 4(2) reads:

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act or any other law, any person charged with an offence mentioned in Part C of the First Schedule, shall not be granted bail unless the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal is satisfied that the person charged –

  • (a) Has not been tried within a reasonable time;

  • (b) Is unlikely to be tried within a reasonable time; or

  • (c) Should be granted bail having regard to all the relevant factors including those specified in Part A of the First Schedule and subsection (2B)

And where the court makes an order for the release, on bail, of that person, it shall include in the record a written statement giving the reasons for the order of the release on bail.”

(2A) For the purposes of subsection 2 (a) and (b) –

(2B) For the purpose of subsection (2)(c), in deciding whether or not to grant bail to a person charged with an offence mentioned in Part C of the First Schedule, the character or antecedents of the person charged, the need to protect the safety of the public or public order and, where appropriate,...

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