SECURITY WAS beefed up yesterday at the Supreme Court as the trial of 25-year-old reputed gang leader Christopher 'Dog Paw' Linton began in the Gun Court.
A handcuffed prisoner who tried to break loose from the grasp of a policeman failed in his attempt as the policeman's grasp was too strong for him.
"The prisoner chose the wrong day to try to dash to freedom because look how the courthouse is surrounded by armed soldiers," a policewoman commented. The prisoner who is charged with illegal possession of firearm was being escorted from the Gun Court which is on the Supreme Court building.
Soldiers are on duty at various locations at the courthouse when high-risk prisoners are taken to court.
There have been complaints from some of the police manning the courts, especially on Fridays when large numbers of prisoners are taken to court to have their cases mentioned, that the security is inadequate.
"The rules require that one prisoner must be escorted to and from court by two policemen, but at all times it is only one policeman escorting a prisoner because of staff shortage," a policeman said yesterday.
The courtrooms are at different locations on the building and the cell on the ground floor is far away from the courtrooms. There have been numerous complaints over the years that prisoners should not be "rubbing shoulders" with members of the public in the corridors of the courthouse, but the complaints have been ignored.
The Crown is alleging that Linton was found in possession of a firearm when he was captured. He is facing trial for illegal possession of a firearm.
One witness has so far testified and Linton has been remanded to return to court next Thursday.
Linton is charged with other men for other gun crimes and those cases are pending in the Gun Court. He is also charged for the predawn slaying of three family members in Bedward Gardens, St Andrew, in December 2010.
In that incident, a six-year-old boy, his 31-year-old mother and a 49-year-old taxi operator were fatally shot.
Linton was on the police most-wanted list and the police had offered a $250,000 reward for information leading to his capture.