Green v Attorney General

JurisdictionBahamas
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeHilton, J.
Judgment Date16 Jun 2016
Docket NumberCri/bal/001144/2010

Supreme Court

Hilton, J. (Ag.)

Cri/bal/001144/2010

Green
and
Attorney General
Appearances:

Robert Reckley for the applicant

Darnell Dorsett for respondent

Cases Mentioned:

Jonathan Armbrister v. AG SCCr App. No. 145 of 2011Hurnam v. The StateNoordally v. Attorney General and another [1987] LRC.

Criminal practice and procedure - Bail — Charged with conspiracy to commit murder — Applicable principles as to whether bail should be granted considered — Whether bail should be granted in circumstances where the offence charged was a serious one — There was no unreasonable delay in the prosecution of the applicant's case — Evidence relied upon by the Crown was manifestly weak — No basis for concluding that the applicant would interfere with witnesses, obstruct justice or abscond — Bail granted with conditions.

Hilton, J. ACTG.)

1

The applicant is a Bahamian citizen. He is 30 years old and is married with two children ages eleven years and three months and was employed at Palm Cay Development Company prior to his remand in May 2016.

2

The applicant is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and has applied for bail on the principle grounds that:

  • a) He is presumed innocent under the provision of the constitution.

  • b) The evidence against him is very weak and he does not know anything about the offence and will not interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses all of whom are Police Officers.

  • c) He poses no threat to society and will appear for his trial; and two of his co-accused are on bail.

  • d) He has no previous convictions and one pending matter for possession of an unlicensed firearm.

  • e) The facility of having reporting conditions and/or electronic monitoring device are adequate means to ensure his whereabouts at all times and are sufficient safeguards to prevent any attempt at absconding.

3

The respondent has objected to the grant of bail on the following grounds:

  • a) The charge of conspiracy to commit Murder is a serious charge for which bail should not be granted unless there is unreasonable delay.

  • b) The penalty the applicant is liable to suffer (if convicted) is severe and this gives the applicant a strong incentive to abscond or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.

  • c) The evidence against the applicant is cogent and strong as his co- accused implicates him in her statement to the police.

  • d) There has been no unreasonable delay in the matter.

4

In determining what is the appropriate decision in this application the court has reviewed the relevant sections of the Bail Act as amended and the case authorities.

5

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. Bail is not to be withheld as a punishment. In the case of Jonathan Armbrister v. A.G. S.C.Cr. App.No. 145 of 2011 John J-A. at paragraph 11, 12 and 13 gave a review of the applicable principles. At paragraph 11 he stated.

“A good starting point in reviewing the principles applicable where an (applicant) has been charged but not yet put on trial is the statement of Lord Bingham of Cornhill in Hurnam v. The state where he said at paragraph 1,

‘In Mauritius as elsewhere the courts are routinely called upon to consider whether an un-convicted suspect or defendant should be released on bail, subject to conditions pending his trial. Such decisions very often raise questions of importance both to the individual suspect or defendant and to the community as a whole. The interests of the individual is of course to remain at liberty, unless or until he is convicted of a crime sufficiently serious to justify depriving him of his liberty. Any loss of liberty before that...

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