Mon | Sep 25, 2017

More delays in Mario Deane case

Published:Tuesday | May 30, 2017 | 5:02 PMChristopher Thomas

WESTERN BUREAU:
The three police officers who are facing multiple charges arising from the 2014 incident in which Mario Deane was badly beaten while in police custody and subsequently died in hospital were given a new mention date when they appeared in the St James Parish Court yesterday.

The trio, Corporal Elaine Stewart and district constables Juliana Clevon and Marlon Grant, were told to return to court on June 13, when the case is scheduled to continue. They all had their bail extended until the new date.

The three police personnel, who were all assigned to the Barnett Street Police Station in Montego Bay at the time of the incident, are facing charges of manslaughter, misconduct in a public office, and perverting the course of justice, in relation to Deane's death.

UNFIT WITNESS

During the trio's appearance yesterday, the court was informed that one of the prosecution's anticipated witnesses had been found to be unfit to give evidence following psychiatric assessments by two medical professionals.
After hearing the situation with the medically unfit witness, attorney-at-law Lennox Gayle, who is part of the defence team for the three police officers, asked Presiding Parish Judge Sandria Wong-Small for a new mention date.

"If this is the case and the prosecution has no other witnesses, we would like a date for submissions to be made," Gayle told the court. Following further deliberations, the matter was set for June 13.

Following Deane's death on August 6, 2014, three of the prisoners, who were in the cell at the time of the beating, and the three officers, were charged. The beating took place on August 3, 2014, just hours after Deane was arrested and charged for possession of a ganja spliff.

It is alleged that the three police personnel displayed inappropriate behaviour at the time of the beating. Stewart, the most senior of the trio, is being accused of giving instructions for the cleaning of the cell in which the beating took place before the arrival of investigators from the Independent Commission of Investigations.

Since the case started back in 2014, it has been hit by a number of delays, causing members of Deane's family to speak out publicly, challenging its slow pace.