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Disgraced ex-deacon to face trial on May 3

Published:Tuesday | March 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Former church deacon, 49-year-old Donovan Jones, who is charged with human trafficking involving a 14-year-old schoolgirl, is to face trial on May 3 in the Home Circuit Court.

The case was set for trial Monday but had to be put off because the investigating officer was unavailable. The other witnesses in the case did not attend and the court was told that the police were in contact with them.

Supreme Court judge Lloyd Hibbert was not happy with the arrangement.

"The Crown does not grant adjournments and the Crown is not obliged to tell witnesses not to come to court," the judge emphasised. The judge warned that if cases were ready and could not proceed because witnesses were told not to come, that could be treated as contempt of court on the part of the Crown. Witnesses must come to court so they can be bound over for another date if the case is not proceeding, the judge said.

Granted bail

Jones was granted bail after he was arrested and charged in 2006. He is being represented by attorney-at-law Paul Beswick.

The Crown is alleging that Jones was present in a motor car when the girl was fondled in April and May 2006. The act was video-recorded.

Jones resigned from his position as deacon after he was arrested and charged.

Three male teenagers were charged jointly with Jones for human trafficking arising from the alleged sexual molestation of the girl, but they pleaded guilty last year to indecent assault. Two of them were placed on probation while the third was admonished and discharged.