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Case of cops in Kamoza Clarke beating deferred to December 1

Published:Friday | November 4, 2016 | 11:00 AMChristopher Thomas

Western Bureau:

The case against five policemen who were charged following the death of Kamoza Clarke after he was beaten while in police custody in 2013 has been pushed back to December 1 to allow the defence lawyers time to peruse the documents for the upcoming hearing.

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 had their bails extended following their latest appearance at the Trelawny Parish Court in Falmouth yesterday.

Presiding magistrate Ruth Lawrence gave the new date after attorney-at-law Ronald Parris, who is part of the defence team representing the five cops, asked for time to review the evidence bundle, which had been provided by the prosecution.

"I only received the hard copy of this bundle two weeks ago, and, after going through the documents, I am asking for a short adjournment of at least two weeks to ensure that everything is in order," said Parris.

Henry, Eccleston, and Brown, who are charged with murder in connection with Clarke's death, will undergo a preliminary hearing when the case returns to court on December 1.

Neglect of duty

Lawrence and Turner, who are charged with neglect of duty, will have their case mentioned on that date.

The five policemen were charged 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 was mentally challenged, fell unconscious and went into a vegetative state following the beating, and he later died at hospital in February 2014. His death sparked national outcry, including condemnation from human rights advocates.