Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Judge expresses frustration in Mario Deane case

Published:Wednesday | April 12, 2017 | 4:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Deane

WESTERN BUREAU:

Corporal Elaine Stewart and district constables Juliana Clevon and Marlon Grant, the three police officers implicated in the death of Mario Deane, will have to wait a while longer for the case against them to continue, as when they appeared in court on Monday, the case was deferred until May 29.

The trio, who were on duty at the Barnett Street Police Station, Montego Bay, when Deane suffered the fatal beating, were told by the court that the extension to was give the prosecution time to determine how its case will proceed. Dean had been arrested for possession of a ganja spliff.

Prior to the setting of the new date by presiding parish judge Sandria Wong-Small, who also extended the bails of Stewart, Clevon and Grant, the court was also told that one of the prosecution's witnesses was scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

"I have been awaiting the conclusion of the prosecution's case for quite a while," said Wong-Small. "This matter is one of the longest-standing matters on my list. It is very near to the second year since I am dealing with this case and it has to end," the judge said. "This is now becoming a matter of great frustration and I am not going to put up with it anymore. If the witness is not going to give evidence, the prosecution will have to determine what course they are going to adopt," added Wong-Small.

Stewart, Clevon, and Grant are charged with manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice, arising from allegations that they were on duty at the time when Deane was beaten in a cell at the Barnett Street lock-up on August 3, 2014.

Cell allegedly cleaned

Mario Deane, who was on his way to his construction job when he was arrested, subsequently died in hospital - three days later, on August 6, 2014, after he was beaten.

In the allegations against the police officers, it was reported that Stewart gave instructions for the cell in which the beating took place to be cleaned before the arrival of investigators from the Independent Commission of Investigations.

In a previous court hearing last year, two police witnesses, Detective Sergeant Joel Findlay and Corporal Orville Williams, gave evidence during the ongoing preliminary inquiry against their colleagues. Both of them were assigned to the Barnett Street Police Station at the time.

Earlier this year, the case was stalled due to the absence of a prosecution witness who was said to be overseas.