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Cops in Kamoza Clarke case return to court September 9

Published:Thursday | August 11, 2016 | 8:00 AMChristopher Thomas

WESTERN BUREAU:

The five policemen charged in connection with the 2014 death of Kamoza Clarke after he was beaten in 2013 while in police custody will make their next appearance in the Trelawny Parish Court on September 9, when a hearing date will be given.

District Constables Alwayne Eccleston, Onecko Brown, Desmond Lawrence, and Tristan Turner, and Sergeant Derrick Henry, who are all charged in relation to Clarke's death, were given the new return date and venue and had their bail extended when they appeared in the Trelawny Parish Court in Clark's Town yesterday.

 

Prosecution not ready

 

The court was told that the prosecution was not ready to proceed against the five cops as several witness statements were still outstanding from the case file. An application was also made to delay the serving of documents in the matter until the file was completed.

However, the prosecutions stance did not go over well with Henry's attorney, Oswest Senior-Smith, who told presiding magistrate Ruth Lawrence that the delay in the case was not fair to the defendants.

"I do not expect to be hearing this kind of position from the prosecution when in matters of this nature, it is INDECOM (Independent Commission of Investigations) that has charge of the investigation. There is no more well-resourced institution in this society than INDECOM. These defendants are being prejudiced by the long delay in what should be due process," said Senior-Smith.

Following further deliberations, the magistrate set the matter to be mentioned in the Trelawny Parish Court in Falmouth on September 9, at which time all documents in the case are to be served and a hearing date is to be set.

Eccleston, Brown, and Henry are charged with murder in connection with Clarke's death, while Lawrence and Turner are charged with neglect of duty, arising from allegations that they were involved in an attack on Clarke, who was badly beaten while in custody at the Falmouth Police Station on October 20, 2013.

Clarke, who subsequently went into a coma, was taken to hospital, where he later died from his injuries.