The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) are once again being criticised for their actions – or lack thereof – in swiftly prosecuting serious crime in the British Virgin Islands.
On Monday, Magistrate Shawn Innocent bewailed that more than 24 months after an adult male allegedly had sex with an underage girl, that matter is still ongoing.
Johnta Charles has been charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor since February 2016.
When the matter was called before the magistrate this week, the court heard that the matter was still in its infancy stage.
“He (the accused) is just free to roam about his business. This says it is ok to commit sexual offences. It doesn’t augur well for the justice system … this is unacceptable,” Magistrate Innocent said.
The magistrate raised the concern after learning that the prosecutor who originally has conduct of the matter was absent because of another the mater he/she has in the High Court. Another prosecutor is, therefore, filling in on their behalf.
The prosecutor filling in was not able to satisfy the court with sufficient information regarding the case and consequently had to bear the brunt of Magistrate Innocent’s wrath.
Innocent, who is one of the latest additions to the territory’s magistracy, is increasingly being considered to be a no-nonsense magistrate.
Earlier this month, he called on the DPP to put their proverbial house in order, stating that the office’s recurring sloppy show of carrying out its duties is a ‘scant’ disrespect for the court.
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