THE EDITOR, Sir:
On July 11, 2012, your paper carried an article titled 'DPP vindicated', which contained a material inaccuracy. The offending part read, "Prosecutor Maxine Jackson was not called upon to respond to the no-case submission."
That statement invariably left the readers with the impression that Ms Jackson was never given a chance to respond to the no-case submission. I feel compelled to set the record straight, as I was present in chambers when the learned trial judge told us that she would revisit the submission.
Ms Jackson reminded her that she was not called upon to respond. The judge told her that she would allow her so to do and acceded to her request for a half an hour to prepare a response. (After all, a judge can hear a submission of no case and, consequently, reply at any point during a trial after the Crown has closed its case and before a verdict is entered).
That could be considered a generous gesture by Her Ladyship, as the practice is for prosecuting counsel to reply forthwith when called upon by the judge after defence counsel's submission ends. It meant that Ms Jackson should have been prepared.
However, instead of returning with that submission, she returned with a nolle prosequi, which put a stop to the proceedings. The promise to respond was reneged on and a new trial superimposed on the defendant. It was in that context that I had expressed the view that an injustice was done to my client. Furthermore, I saw the move as casting aspersions on the integrity of the judge.
I have had the opportunity of appearing before Justice Sinclair-Haynes in the capacity of prosecuting counsel and, subsequently, defence counsel and have found her to be balanced and fearless in her adjudication.
Finally, the defendant changed his plea to one of guilty to manslaughter (by flight), which was not explored as the basis for a plea at the first trial. He was sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment by Justice McDonald-Bishop.
DONALD A. BRYAN