Magistrate Shawn Innocent has called on the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to put their proverbial house in order, noting that the office’s recurring sloppy show of carrying out its duties is a ‘scant’ disrespect for the court.
He made the remarks on Tuesday during the sentencing of 26-year-old Damien Farrell of Long Look.
Farrell was fined $1,000 for possession of 11 grams of cannabis, which he reportedly had on March 17 last year.
He has two months to pay the fine. Otherwise, he will spend one month at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Innocent’s discontent with the Office of the DDP all started when he said he was confused by the sentencing guidelines the Crown had produced for Farrell’s matter.
He said each of the documents produced showed inconsistent quantities of the drugs they claimed was found on Farrell on the day in question.
He pointed to one document which said 11 grams while another said 20.3 grams.
The court was subsequently told that the prosecutor who was in conduct of the Farrell’s case was aware of the errors in the documents but did not make the requisite corrections.
This doesn’t bode well for BVI
That prosecutor was, however, absent because he/she had another matter at the High Court. Another prosecutor who was only ‘filling in’, therefore, had to shoulder the admonishment that Magistrate Innocent reigned down on the Office of the DDP.
Magistrate Innocent said the DPP Office’s performance at the court in recent times does not augur well for the judicial system in the British Virgin Islands.
He also strongly urged the prosecutor to write a report against her colleague who erred.
The prosecuting attorney who had to shoulder the criticism from the court was noticeably disquieted by the Magistrate’s reproval.
The court, therefore, had to take a brief recess to allow the prosecutor to compose herself.
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