David Samuel Brandt, prominent attorney and former Chief Minister of Montserrat, is currently one of 20 inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison. Brandt has not been convicted of a crime, but he is incarcerated because a “fed up” judge issued a punitive measure to counteract four years of stall tactics by Brandt’s attorneys.
According to the Montserrat Spotlight, unless defense attorneys can file successful motions to dismiss Brandt’s charges or have his bail reinstated, the former head of state will spend at least the next five months in a jail cell. It is the latest twist in a sad fall from grace for one of Montserrat’s most colorful and popular attorneys and politicians.
In 2015, Brandt was charged with several counts of sexual exploitation of underage girls. His trial was finally scheduled to begin this week following four years of delays and legal challenges, including an unsuccessful request for change of venue. Brandt’s defense team on Monday asked for another continuance because one of the attorneys is unavailable due to illness. High Court Judge Gareth Evans QC granted the adjournment until November 18 but revoked Brandt’s bail. When a person is charged with a crime, the issue of bail is addressed during different stages: the initial charges, the sufficiency hearing, and for the actual trial. So even if bail is granted at one point in the case it can be rescinded at another stage at the judge’s discretion.