Thu | Jan 21, 2021

Pastor's lawyer objects to moving case from Westmoreland court

Published:Thursday | November 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:  "Not at this time!" outspoken defence attorney Keith Bishop said yesterday in response to the likelihood of transferring the carnal abuse trial of international pastor, the Reverend Dr Paul Lewis, outside the Westmoreland jurisdiction.

With the backlog of cases before the Savanna-la-Mar Circuit Court, Justice Carol Lawrence Beswick suggested yesterday that the Crown and the defence might want to consider the possibility of hearing the matter in another court.

Lewis' trial was pushed back until November 8 to facilitate the disposal of previous matters in the circuit court.

The televangelist's $300,000 bail in the carnal abuse case was extended.

"We will see what happens on Monday, but at the moment, we have no instructions from my client as to the consideration to move the matter to another court," Bishop explained after the court hearing.

Lewis is also scheduled to appear before the Savanna-la-Mar Resident Magistrate's Court next Thursday to answer charges of perversion of the course of justice.

The pastor has been accused of paying a woman, now a witness, to coax the girls involved in the carnal abuse matter.

Huge victory for defence

Meanwhile, the defence also secured a huge victory yesterday as the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal brought by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Dirk Harris to deny the embattled pastor bail in relation to the perversion charges.

Lewis is now free to take up his new $300,000 bail, which he was offered in the new matter last Wednesday.

The accused spent a week in jail as his bail process was stalled because of an oral appeal made by Harrison.

Bishop had maintained that Resident Magistrate Collymore Gordon was in error by telephoning the clerk of court to say that the bail process should stop, and that the judge made no notation in the court sheet - while court sat - about an oral appeal from the Crown.

In the carnal abuse matter, it is alleged that last June, Lewis met a 15-year-old girl at a church convention in Little London, Westmoreland, where he was a guest preacher.

He is accused of having a sexual encounter with the girl while her 14-year-old female friend watched.