Dr. Thomson Fontaine granted bail again; attorney Gildon Richards escapes arrest

Tensions were high in the Roseau Magistrate court as Dr. Thomson Fontaine’s four day “conditional bail” came to an end and his lawyers sought further release. In the end, though bail was again granted, the day’s proceeding was not without contention.

Dr. Fontaine was on April 23, 2022, arrested at the Douglas Charles airport on arrival in Dominica, on a bench warrant issued by Magistrate Asquith Riviere on November 22, 2018, following his failure to appear at two court hearings.

Fontaine’s arrest stemmed from an incident which dates back to February 7, 2017. On that day, the parliamentary opposition United Workers Party (UWP) held a meeting on Kennedy Avenue in Roseau calling for the resignation of Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit following which several businesses were vandalized in the capital city. Several opposition members were subsequently charged with inciting violence and obstructing justice.

Following his arrest over the weekend, Fontaine and his legal team which includes attorneys-at-law Julien Prevost, Gildon Richards, Cara Shillingford-Marsh, Ronald Charles and Elue Charles, appeared in court on April 25, 2022,  where he was granted “conditional bail” until April 29, 2022.

Presiding Magistrate, Michael Laudat, explained that it was in the public’s interest to grant Dr. Fontaine bail, however; he said the defense had failed to present all required documents from the surety to the court. Laudat therefore ordered the defendant to surrender to the court after four days by which time he said, Fontane’s bail would expire.

At the formal bail application hearing on the morning of April 29, Dr. Fontaine’s surety, former Chief Magistrate Gail Royer, underwent a means and control test by attorney Prevost.

Under cross-examination by the  acting Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Sherma Dalyrmple, Royer said prior to March 25, 2022, she did not recall the last time she had seen Dr. Fontaine and she and the defendant did not speak regularly.

Defense attorney Richards, who was also in court, then attempted to re-examine the surety on her use of the word “regularly” for the court’s record but Magistrate Laudat insisted that the court needed no further clarification.

According to the Magistrate, under the bail act, the court is only entitled to provide a record in a bail application if bail is denied or if the prosecution is objecting to bail and it is granted  but Richards insisted that the court was making a decision contrary to the interest of the defendant.

Both the Magistrate and the attorney stood resolute in their position which resulted in a fiery exchange.

Magistrate Laudat then stood down the matter for 2:00 p.m and informed Dr. Fontaine that since his conditional bail had expired and he had surrendered to the court, he must be placed in police custody until the resumption of his matter.

When the matter resumed at 3:30,  the Magistrate again informed the attorneys that a new bail application had to be made for Dr. Fontaine since his conditional bail had expired.

However, Prevost and Richards maintained that since the previous bail was not revoked there was no need for a new bail application as they were only there to present certain information required from the surety.

“Mr. Fontaine, your lawyers are wasting the court’s time,” Magistrate Laudat said to the defendant. “The question is do you want bail?”

In response Dr. Fontaine stated, “Your Honor, I thought bail was already granted to me.”

The acting DPP also agreed with the Magistrate that a new bail application ought to be put forward. She said the prosecution’s only concern was whether or not the proposed surety was able to meet the control test since Royer said she was not in regular communication with the defendant.

“A surety coming to the court must show they have control over the accused. The prosecution has bent backwards since Monday guiding the defense and nothing has been done in respect of this. It’s a simple issue that has taken up the entire day,” the acting DPP stated.

Dalyrmple further argued that attorneys must come to court prepared as certain evidence is required even in bail application hearings.

“It is not a matter where you come here and say things and bail is granted, evidence has to be presented and this has not happened in this case,” she contended.

However, Richards was adamant in his position that bail had already been granted and had not been revoked and therefore, a new bail application was not warranted.

Magistrate Laudat then asked that Richards be removed from the court stating he was defying the order of the court.

“If you think I am standing as I’m required to do in presenting my client’s case, do not obey this unlawful order, “ the attorney told the police officers in court. “Your Honor, I am not here to disrespect you but I am also not here to take any disrespect from you.”

The Magistrate again made an order for Richards to be detained and placed in the cells pursuant to chapter 4:20 of the Magistrate Code of Procedure Act, section 215, ‘Power to Preserve Order.’

The attorney eventually stormed out of the court thereby escaping arrest.

Following Richards departure, attorney Prevost yielded to the court’s request and put forward a new bail application.

The surety, Royer, in giving evidence to the court said she will communicate with the defendant more frequently via telephone calls and WhatsApp to remind him of any upcoming court date.

Bail was then granted to Dr. Fontaine in the sum of $75,000.00.

He was further ordered to surrender all his travel documents to the court prior to his release and must not leave the State without first applying to the court for permission to do so 72 hours in advance.

Dr. Fontaine’s bail also stipulates that he must report to the Mahaut Police Station every Monday and Friday between 7:00 a.m and 7:00 p.m. He was further barred from conducting any interviews with the media on the matter directly or through a third party.

Breach of any of the stipulated conditions will result in the revocation of his bail.

The matter was adjourned to July 26, 2022, for trial of the charges of Incitement and Obstruction of Justice.

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24 Comments

  1. Man bite dogs
    May 3, 2022

    Thomson,or Thompson Fontaine, whichever name you go by the net is closing in on you guy watch this space 😜🙂

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10
  2. JAH KAL
    May 2, 2022

    Thomson don’t worry karma is a capital B. How long not long.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
  3. Inside Politics
    May 2, 2022

    What evidence is required of Thompson Fontaine to get permission to leave the state?
    An updated job letter has to be submitted?
    Does he have a job in South Sudan?

  4. Kangaroo Kort
    May 2, 2022

    Where will this relentless victimization of decent conscientious Dominicais like Dr. Fontaine end?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2
    • Gary
      May 6, 2022

      Decent, conscientious Dominicans do not blatantly ignore bench warrants issued by the Court. The Relentless victimization from your imagination has to be proven in Court with EVIDENCE by Thomson Lawyers on the allegation of inciting violence, as of now Thomson is innocent until proven guilty.

      What you mean Dominicans like Dr. Fontaine end, is he above The Law, is this the two tier system of Law you guys want in The Country. You know, there were other people who were faced with the same charges as Thomson, they never ignored their bench warrant to appear in Court to hear the charges laid against them.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
  5. Ibo France
    May 2, 2022

    This self-enrichment regime must discontinue these bogus charges against Dr. Fontaine, Mr. Lennox Linton and the others. They must promote justice and harmony instead of division and cruelty.

    Instead of focusing on creating jobs that offer livable wages; build a new network of roads to stimulate business; provide incentives and create the economic environment for small & medium size businesses and light manufacturing to flourish; the cabal main focus is about oppressing their adversaries and pilfer the state resources.

    One longs for the day when a new administration is installed by the electors, and inclusion, honesty, prosperity for all, fairness, justice, unity, love and tranquility will rain down on Dominica like wonderful showers of blessings.

    May God open the eyes of those politically blinded electors so they may see that the country deserves much better than what is happening at present under this regime. Only the politically well connected lives large.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6
  6. May 2, 2022

    That Gildon Richards – here is another one who believes that he is above the law and can do or say anything he wants including disrespecting Her Magistrate and the court with impunity. Nice shirt Fontaine. I love this one you got on you.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7
  7. Braindamage
    May 1, 2022

    I can imagine how attorney Gildon kick dust and flew from the courtroom. :wink:

  8. BobD
    May 1, 2022

    Mr Fontaine is wading through the testing waters for those who will dance to the music of Feb 2017. Humiliation and embarrassment makes up the meal being served on the present Dominican political plate, the taste of bitterness have some cowing,not wanting to touch base on the Island with bench warrants hanging over their heads like Rose Mangoes. Political arrogance is being exhibited on both sides, the Gov’t is playing hard ball, while at the same time sending a message to the inept NWP. their mis-guided and ill advised leaders and supporters will, in the long term, dance on the rocky terrains of mountainous Dominica. Ignorance is not strength, and that must be clearly understood.

  9. May 1, 2022

    This Moo Moo Michael Laudat who cried for this job continues to kiss ass on behalf of his boss. But time will reveal and I hope that you may be able to present your legitimate credentials to the world ( in time to come). We all know who you really are Michael Moo Moo Laudat. And also to you , Roosevelt Skerrit (in time to come)

  10. Jonathan Y St Jean
    May 1, 2022

    What a comedy of errors. How can anyone who is cerebral have confidence in the judiciary in Dominica? The DPP and the sitting magistrate are singing for their supper. If the bail is not revoked then it continues to be in effect. They make a mockery of the law and have the law protect them at the as time in carrying out the wishes of their puppet masters.

  11. Ibo France
    May 1, 2022

    When life on earth is over for Dr. Fontaine he would meet Peter at the entrance door of heaven. When Peter asks God whether to let Dr. Fontaine through the Pearly Gate into Heaven, God would reply: “Let the man in, he has already gone through Hell in Dominica.”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  12. Teacher Mildred
    May 1, 2022

    It doesn’t seem that our judges, magistrates , some officers from the top and the national security minister are familiar with the laws of Dominica and they badly need to attend night school so they could get familiar with our laws and our history. They need to be taught about Ted Honeychurch; they need to be taught about the cool wosh brigade that Tony said was unconstitutional but became legal; they need to be taught that they are working for us and the employee cannot be above the employer. We need some good teachers to volunteer to teach them

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  13. Lin clown
    May 1, 2022

    afterall man. let the man go the man doh do nothing at all. i say arrest my once favorite pm . i starting to realize that lennox will be a breath of fresh air for the country

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9
  14. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    May 1, 2022

    lock mr up and then deport him to wherever he come out

  15. Ibo France
    May 1, 2022

    Every fair minded individual who has knowledge of this case knows this is nothing more than harassment and persecution of members of the main opposition party and their supporters.

    What is very troubling is this. Many residents who have committed rape, charged wth murder, iegal possession of guns and ammunition, money laundering, forgery, child molestation, unlawful carnal knowledge, make bail easily. But, one of the most revered, law abiding, internationally recognised son of the soil, has been arrested, placed to sleep in the most unsanitary cell, gven hell to procure bail on trumped up charges.

    All right thinking citizens and residents of Dominica need to come together, in a massive show of strength, and rid the country of this personification of Satan.

  16. Lawyer
    May 1, 2022

    See monkey circus. The fact remains that they have nothing on Thomson. If they had they would have presented it. Their problem is, if they were to fabricate something they would fabricate something against the current speaker of the house as well. You see how corrupt Skerrit is, but worse the courts of our country play along.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
    • Gary
      May 7, 2022

      You are so carried away by your partisan political beliefs that it makes you write such nonsense. What do you mean If they had they would have presented it, present what, this is not a trail to decide Thomson guilt or innocence, it is a bail hearing ,you love that word FABRICATE. This is not about You see how corrupt Skerrit is, it is your silly perception. You call yourself a Lawyer and make these statements about the institution which you represent, are you not embraced. I wonder if you rely on your perception in assisting your clients.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6
  17. Ibo France
    May 1, 2022

    There is absolutely no validity to these charges against a completely innocent, law-abiding citizen, Dr. Fontaine. Let us not miss the bigger picture among the wilful chaos surrounding bail. No crime was committed. These are completely bogus charges instigated by a most tyrannical regime.

    The DPP and the magistrate seem bent on pinning blame on Dr. Fontaine’s lawyers for the kerffufle at the bail hearing. This corrupt Injustice System, in Dominica, should be overhauled.

    The is the narrative going forward. The supporters of this evil regime, including most of the media houses, the usual suspects, will argue vociferously that Dr. Fountaine’s lawyers are exclusively to be blamed for all the confusion and delay at the hearing. When the only reason for all this division and turmoil is one evil man’s obsession with having absolute power over an entire nation.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
  18. Gary
    May 1, 2022

    The Magistrate Courts in Dominica are being overrun by regrades, with a Political agenda, political emotions are used to decide legal decision, Magistrates are being bullied by these renegades showing up in Court as an entourage in disguise of legal defense to psychologically intimidate The Magistrate, it is time to recognize such pattern of operation. Does Thomson really need all these defense Lawyers in a Magistrate’s Court asking to grant him bail on a bench warrant he blatantly ignored, are these Lawyers that incompetent that they need to piggyback on each other to deal with such a case, I do not think so. Thomson is not on trial for what he is allegedly charged for by the State. Why would the presiding Magistrate, Michael Laudat, say that it is in the public’s interest to grant Dr. Fontaine bail, I differ. It is the Due process, with legal arguments as to The LAW that should decide such thing, not public interest, not The Government or intimidation by renegade Lawyers.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8
  19. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 30, 2022

    So, I research to see if there is any such thing as a four (4) day bail act, on any of the Caribbean islands from Jamaica in it North, to Guyana, on the main land of South America, only to find no such law exists, not even in the Banana Republic of Dominica (Roosevelt Skerrit) country.
    I wish someone would be kind enough to explain to the world what legal bail act in Dominica one should research to find out how it’s utilized and implemented!

    Since the Kangaroo court system is part of the ccj; I search to find a hint from some source out of the CCJ; to no avail.

    I believe the clowns revolving around this corrupted court system in the banana republic framed this draconian law, to simply victimized Thomson Fountain; if not can any of Roosevelt Skerrit puppets: Carbon, the clown magistrate, and the so called AG disclosed to our nation when was the first and last time someone was granted four (4) bail in Dominica; such law exists no other place in the Caribbean!

  20. The voice
    April 30, 2022

    Why does it seem that our legal system is most efficient when it comes to these petty Political games?…there are so much Serious case where alleged crimes are serious…rape…child abuse…drug related…gun related…and court cases and adjourned continuously for years….with the accused on $20,000.00 bail….why do we waste tax payers money and so much time on such nonsense?

  21. April 30, 2022

    O my! July 26 is a long way to go, with 31 days in May, 30 in June, and July 26 makes 87 days to wait!

    I still cannot believe that Mr. Fontaine expected to face this turmoil when he decided to return to Dominica at this time–what was he thinking, or is there a secret plan?

    Whatever it is, that is why we should not take the Law of the Land for granted. Disrespect, rudeness, and all our pompous attitude and conduct will take us nowhere. Obedience and humility is the key to success in Life.

    Yes, we can be right, but we can also be wrong, and we know what is the truth in our mind, definitely! It is cowardness that causes us to run away from the judgment that is put before us. When we do so we prove ourself to be wrong and coward!

    God Almighty calls us to walk in Life with Him, this Life is Love; there is no fear in Love!

    Mr. Fontaine, only you and God knows the state of your mind right now. Whatever must be will be, by His decision.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

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