The Magistrate’s Court has reserved its decision for next week after hearing submissions from defense lawyer Joshua Francis and police prosecutor Inspector Davidson Cadette on a bail application for Evance Charles of Loubiere.
Charles is charged with attempted murder, and is on remand at the Stock Farm Prison.
He is before the court for allegedly attempting to murder Lincoln Degallerie on December 17, 2020.
In his submissions before Magistrate Michael Ladaut under the newly passed and gazetted Bail Act number 20 of 2020, defense lawyer Francis is seeking bail for his client, and told the court that Charles had “close ties with the community, a fixed place of residence, and (is) the breadwinner of his family.”
“He is not a trouble maker, not a flight risk, and also not a danger to the community despite the allegation hanging over his head,” Francis told the court.
He stated further that Charles does not have the propensity to pervert the course of justice and will cooperate fully with all conditions of his bail if granted.
However, in his rebuttal, Police Prosecutor Inspector Cadette told the court that the prosecution was “objecting to bail” on the grounds that the accused stands charged for “attempted murder” which is listed as a serious matter under the recently gazetted Bail Act.
“Your Honour, given the interpretation of the serious offense under the Bail Act 20 of 2020, and listed in schedule One of the said Act, the prosecution in light of the serious nature of this offense strongly objects to bail for the accused,” he said.
The offense, he told the court, carries “a stiff penalty” and that gives rise to the issue of “potential flight risk.”
“The Prosecution is contending that this situation places the accused in a position as a candidate for a possible flight risk,” he stated.
Magistrate Ladaut had to stand the matter down on a few occasions to allow the prosecution to get relevant documents before the court.
For this, he chided the prosecution telling them that, “you must be ready and prepared when making submissions before the court and if you are quoting a case law, you must bring the entire case law before the court.”
He also reminded them, that the new bail Act makes it mandatory that the Magistrate “must give reasons for his or her decisions in granting or not granting bail” and that the records of the court proceedings must be made available to both parties.
The Magistrate reserved his decision for Monday, January 18, 2021.
Charles reminds on remand at the Stock Farm Prison.
This is the first hearing of a bail application under the Bail Act number 20 of 2020 which was passed in the Dominica Parliament in December 2020 and assented to by President Charles Savarin and gazetted on December 24, 2020.