Not guilty pleas dominate opening of criminal assizes

By Hermisha Rolle, Staff reporter

Not guilty pleas dominated the May Criminal Assizes as it opened today. Only one accused man who was arraigned this morning at the High Court of Justice pleaded guilty to the indictments leveled against him.

Cases were discontinued against Kurt James and Fitzgerald Winston. James had faced charges of conspiracy to theft, attempted theft, two charges of attempting to obtain property by deception and theft by posing as the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit. Winston was charged with five counts of false accounting.

Among other matters which came before High Court Judge Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks today, six were sexually-related offenses.

A warrant continues for the arrest of Dexter Jno Baptiste, accused of wounding with intent. The matter was traversed to this assizes since he had absconded.

Sylvester Darroux pleaded not guilty to grievous bodily harm against Ranji Larond of La Plaine on February 24, 2010. This matter was adjourned to June 2, 2010. Ken Wade also appeared on indictments of robbery and wounding with intent. According to his charges, he allegedly stole a gold chain costing $850 and a gold pendant valued at $150 from a woman in Fond Cole on December 25, 2008. He also allegedly wounded the complainant, according to the charges.

The trial date of a case involving Skeffington Benjamin, who is accused of malicious damage and taking conveyance was set for June 2.

Denny Shiillingford who faces the charges of burglary and grievous bodily harm will face trial on Monday, May 17, 2010. Shillingford is in police custody. According to the charges, Shillingford allegedly burglarized the dwelling home of Davisdon Joseph of St. Joseph and wounded him on September 24, 2010. The charges state that Shillingford stole $310 cash from Joseph’s house.

Trevor Francis pleaded not guilty to wounding with intent and unlawful wounding. His trial is scheduled for June 2. Meanwhile, Cressington Isles will face trial on May 25, 2010 for grievous bodily harm. Chester Seraphine will also appear on that date on a grievous bodily harm charge as well.

McGarvin Peters,21, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to  another young man in Roseau on November 14, 2008. He was sentenced today at the High Court. (More details of that matter will follow in a subsequent story.)

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  1. Nathaniel Peltier
    May 16, 2010

    Would really like to know why they were discontinued myself. Because for one of the cases in particular there is more than evidence.

    That being said it is scary to see that most of the charges and cases above are violent crimes. Something really has to be done.

  2. Righteous!
    May 13, 2010

    “Shillingford allegedly burglarized the dwelling home of Davisdon Joseph of St. Joseph and wounded him on September 24, 2010. The charges state that Shillingford stole $310 cash from Joseph’s house.”

  3. InCoGnItO
    May 13, 2010

    Its no surprise that the cases against Kurt James were discontinued i said it the first time the charges were brought against him …..The arresting officers need alot more work done on there skills which deal with the Court system too many cases are discontinued ,dropped or thrown out by magistrates because of lack of preparedness by police officers….

    I have no idea of what the reason was for the case against Kurt James and Fitzgerald Winston were dropped but im just saying in general it looks like all u need is a fair knowledge of the law and your rights and you can get your case thrown out, dropped or discontinued just an observation …Ive seen it happen too many times over and over again….

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