Dillon Jordon v Director of Public Prosecutions

CourtSupreme Court (Bahamas)
JudgeForbes. J.
Judgment Date27 June 2023
Docket NumberCASE NO. CRI/BAIL/FP/00171/2013
Dillon Jordon
Director of Public Prosecutions

The Honorable Mr. Justice Andrew Forbes

CASE NO. CRI/BAIL/FP/00171/2013



Criminal Side


Attorney: Mr. Ellsworth. Darling c/o Director of Public Prosecutions

Attorney Mr. K Brian Hanna. Johnson c/o Dillon Jordon

Forbes. J.

The Applicant initially self-filed an application on the 8 th March 2023 seeking consideration of the court as to the question of bail. On the 8 th March 2023 Attorney Brian Hanna filed a Notice of Appointment of Attorney. A summons to admit to Bail and Affidavit in support of this application by the Applicant was filed on the 6 th June 2023 and 7 th June 2023 respectively. In which the Applicant avers that he was remanded on the charge of Murder. That he did not cause the death of Shavez Hart and that he is a fisherman. He further avers that he will not abscond nor will he interfere with witnesses. Further that he is innocent and he has now been advised that his trial is now scheduled to commence in 2027.


The Respondent filed an affidavit in response dated 15 th June 2023 and sworn by Police Corporal 771 Anastasia Rolle who avers that she is the Liaison Officer of the Director of Public Prosecutions and that the Applicant was charged on 12 th September 2022 with Offence of Murder. That the Applicant was arraigned before Magistrate Debbye Ferguson the charge sheet was exhibited thereto. Bail was denied and the Applicant remanded. That the Applicant is a person of bad character. That there is insurmountable evidence against the Applicant. That Traneko Grant positively identified the Applicant as the person who raised a firearm and shot the deceased. That the Applicant is said to have made an out of Court admission to Stephon Pritchard. The Statements of both witnesses are attached as exhibits. The Respondent further avers that the Applicant is not a fit and proper candidate for bail at this time.


The Applicant's Counsel has argued that notwithstanding the allegations, the Applicant has denied the allegations and maintains his innocence. Counsel for the Applicant further contends that the Applicant has conducted himself in a peaceful and non-confrontational manner, inclusive of his arrest and incarceration. He further argues that there is no evidence to suggest that the Applicant is a serious threat to society. Prima facie every accused person is entitled to their freedom until. No person should be punished by imprisonment before conviction. The essence of Counsel for the Applicant argument is that the Applicant is a fit and proper person for bail and should not be denied bail. The Counsel for the Applicant referred the Court to the cases of Shamar Rolle v. Director of Public Prosecutions 2021/cri/bail//No. 00180 & Stephon Godfrey Davis v. The Director of Public Prosecutions 2014/cri/bail/00069 Both cases are cases from the Supreme Court and Stephon Davis was overturned by the Court of Appeal. It is unclear what authority Counsel for the Applicant wishes the Court to draw from either case.


The Respondents choose not to supply the Court with submissions or authorities and sought to rely solely upon the Affidavit filed on the 15 th June 2023.


Taking the Respondents case at its highest it does not provide any evidence that the Applicant will not attend for his trial. Furthermore the evidence provided is scant and underwhelming and truly did not assist this court in arriving at the decision it was tasked with. The question as to whether there has been any delay? This issue was not raised either by the Applicant or the Crown. The Court does note that the Applicant was arrested on the 3 rd September 2022, applied for bail on the 8 th March 2023 and had a substantive hearing in June 2023. The question of delay does not therefore arise. The Court does take note of the comments made by Justice of Appeal Evans in Duran Neely v. The Attorney General SCCrApp No. 29 of 2018, where he said the following at paragraph 17:” It should be noted that Section 4 of the Bail Act does not provide the authorities with a blanket right to detain an accused person for three years. In each case the Court must consider what has been called the tension between the right of the accused to his freedom and the need to protect society. The three year period is in my view for the protection of the accused and not a trump card for the Crown. As I understand the law when an accused person makes an application for bail the Court must consider the matters set out in Section 4(2) (a), (b) and (c). This means that if the evidence shows that the accused has not been tried within a reasonable time or cannot be tried in a reasonable time he can be admitted to bail as per (a) and (b). In those circumstances where there has not been unreasonable delay the Court must consider the matters set out in (c). If after a consideration of those matters the Court is of the view that bail should be granted the accused may be granted bail…”


There has been multiple decision by the Court of Appeal of recent vintage and not so recent which has established what criteria a Court ought to consider when the issue of bail is being reviewed. In the Court of Appeal decision of Dennis Mather and the Director of Public Prosecution SCCrApp 96 of 2020 the Court cited a number of cases as the starting point. “The main consideration for a court in a bail application is whether the applicant would appear for his trial.” In Attorney General v. Bradley Ferguson, et al SCCrApp. No.'s 57, 106, 108, 116 of 2008, Osadebay, JA observed as follows: “As stated by Coleridge J in Barronet's case cited earlier the defendant is not detained in custody because of his guilt but because there are sufficient probable grounds for the charge against him, so as to make it proper that he should be tried and because the detention is necessary to ensure his appearance at trial.” In Jonathan Armbrister v The Attorney General SCCrApp. No.145 of 2011, John, JA said as follows: “12. It has been established for centuries in England that the proper test of whether bail should be granted or refused is whether it is probable that the defendant will appear to take his trial, and that bail is not to be withheld merely as punishment. The courts have also evolved, over the years, a number of considerations to be taken into account in making the decision, such as the nature of the charge and of the evidence available in support thereof, the likely sanction in case of conviction, the accused's record, if any and the likelihood of interference with witnesses.”


The Court must now consider the rational for the denial of bail to the Applicant and consider whether the Applicant will refuse or fail to surrender for trial. Additionally it appears that the Respondent arguments are that the Applicant's antecedents that he has pending matters and that the evidence adduced is cogent and powerful should be grounds to deny the Applicant bail. The Applicant faces the charge of Murder an offence that has been included in Part C of the First Schedule of the Bail Act Part C states, inter alia as follows:- PART C (Section 4(3)) Kidnapping — section 282, Ch. 84; Conspiracy to commit Kidnapping — sections 282 and 89(1), Ch. 84; Murder — section 291, Ch. 84; Conspiracy to commit Murder — sections 291 and 89(1), Ch. 84; Abetment to Murder — sections 86 and 307, Ch. 84; Armed Robbery —...

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