Who helped jailed cop in intimate liaison?
A major investigation is now under way as the authorities try to determine how a man who has been in custody for the past four years could have fathered a child born just three months ago.
With most of the questions aimed at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), its head, Lt Col Sean Prendergast, yesterday told The Sunday Gleaner that he wants a high-level investigation to determine how convicted former cop Rushon Hamilton could have fathered the child.
Prendergast said he will be asking the inspectorate of the Ministry of National Security to investigate the suspected breach.
"One of the first things investigators need to establish is if the ex-cop is the father of the three-month-old baby. A paternity test is needed, whatever form that is," said Prendergast.
He said if the convicted cop is the father of the child, then investigators will have to determine if the breach or breaches leading to the birth of the baby occurred while he was in the custody of the DCS or the police.
"He has been in the custody of the DCS since 2008. Each time he goes to court, he is collected from the Remand Centre by police officers and taken to court and would be held in police lock-up for the period he is in court," argued Prendergast.
'AMPLE OPPORTUNITY' PROVIDED
While insisting that he was not saying that the suspected security breach happened while the ex-cop was in the custody of his former colleagues, the prison boss pointed out that there was "ample opportunity for things to have taken place" while Hamilton was in police custody.
In the meantime, head of the Police's Anti-Corruption Branch, Assistant Commissioner Selvin Hay, said while he was not briefed with all the details, the State has to probe the matter.
"If there are allegations that conjugal privileges were granted while he was in custody, then it's the State's business. Security and other considerations have to be at the forefront, because apart from the perceived privileges because he was a cop, we must also think about the possibility of corrupt individuals allowing privileges that are not contained in the Corrections Act," stated Hay.
"So if there are breaches, then it's a matter for the State," added Hay.
However, attorney-at-law Dr Paul Ashley believes any investigation will be a waste of time.
"What will be the purpose of the investigation? Who is going to pay for it? Suppose the (paternity) test reveals that he is not the father? What would you have done to the family? If both parties agree that the child is theirs, what is the business of the State in the matter?" Ashley questioned.
He said the child could have been conceived without both parties having sex in anybody's custody, and that was nobody's business.
"If it was a breach, it is a breach I agree with. It is well known that in some correctional institutions, homosexuals are placed in special blocks to allow them to have sex. So why should you penalise heterosexual individuals?" he argued.