Categorized | Featured, International, News, Regional

Bail Revoked, Brandt on remand, jailed, until?

– a trial is set to begin on November 18, 2019, but meantime the judge issues ‘directive’ to stop comments on the case

This lingering high court criminal matter has been described on Tuesday in one report as follows: “The High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has ordered another ‘interesting twist’ in the case the Queen vs David S. Brandt.”

Attorney at Law, David S. Brandt, charged since 2015 with several counts of sexual offences

The high profiled lawyer Brandt has been charged since September 2015, along with new charges in November last year, several counts including sexual exploitation of girls under the age of 16 years.

“Gareth Evans, QC, is former Head of Chambers at No5 Chambers. He specialises in both criminal and regulatory law. He acts for the Prosecution or Defence in all kinds of serious crimes including murder, manslaughter, serious sexual offences and drug cases.”
The Times (UK) July 8 2009
Retired in September 2017. Recently appointed and assigned Judge in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, replacing recused Judge Iain Morley in this related matter

With appeals and one or more constitutional matters that may end before the Privy Council arising out of the charges and hearings to date in the matter, causing delays and obvious frustration for the crown prosecutors, perhaps even the judges, the lead prosecutor Annesta Weekes QC resident in the UK having to travel to and from for the numerous hearings, witnesses being kept in security, the matter had been finally set for hearing to begin on June 18, 2019.

That information had been communicated to the ‘press’ by email on June 13, “ His Lordship The Hon Justice  Gareth Evans QC has requested that members of the press attend Court on Monday 17th June 2019 at 9.00 am to discuss  proposals on the reporting of factual matters pertaining to the trial  R V David Brandt which is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 18th June 2019.

There was no information then about a constitutional motion to be heard the following day, June 14. The motion was denied a hearing at the just completed Appeal court sitting the previous week.

That hearing involved a request by his constitutional attorney Dr. David Dorsette for messages on Brandt’s phone be thrown out of the case as their acquisition and use against him contravened his “Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual” with regards to – “protection for his or her private and family life, the privacy of his or her home and other property…” under the Montserrat Constitution.

Hon Iain Morley QC, appointed ECSC judge, agreed to recuse himself from the Brandt case

That motion was heard by the new judge Justice Gareth Evans QC who had replaced recused  Justice Iain Morley QC, High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), the Senior Criminal Judge on Antigua & Barbuda, and the designated Judge on Montserrat.

Legal sources and commentators have expressed suspicion that especially after he was recused and the replacement judge coming from the UK, that his appointment to the ECSC may have been by convenience to sit on the Brandt’s case. Reportedly Justice Morley’s recusal came at the request of both prosecution and defence, aided by their own admission that he and lead prosecutor Annesta Weekes QC, had previously worked together in the UK.

At the constitutional motion hearing, problems of a further delay raised its head with Brandt’s lead trial attorney out of St. Kitts-Nevis reporting being ‘seriously’ ill, just days earlier, putting doubt on the trial starting as scheduled the following week.

But during this time an issue faced Judge Evans after listening to legal arguments from Dr. Dorsette which at the end tentatively suggested that there might be no need for the applications due to be heard at the start of the trial, if his motion was to succeed.

Justice Evans reserved his ruling on the arguments from the defence and the Crown on the motion. On Monday a decision would be made as to the start of the trial and other related matters.

Comes Monday, senior media showed up in answer to the request from the Hon Justice Gareth Evans QC as noted earlier. But their presence was excluded as well as other members of the police, and the public from the court room as the judge and others directly related to the case had ‘some’ hearing in private. The press was told they should return at 2.00 p.m. and an email so indicated. But at midday a further email advised, “the meeting with the press scheduled for Monday 17th June 2019 at 2. 00 pm has now been cancelled.”

DPP Oris Sullivan

By evening information advised that the trial would now begin on November 18, 2019.

No further news on an anxiously awaited press meeting but it became obvious something happened, following the clearing of the court room the eventual cancellation of the meeting after it had been ordered that the Brandt’s trial would be postponed to November 18, 2019.

Then at 4.28 pm the Order shown

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is MNIHCR2019.0008-The-Queen-v-David-Brandt-Order-18th-June-201939402-436x600.jpg

here arrived by email following news that Brandt had been remanded to jail till his trial. That surely sent shockwaves, as the obvious query was raised, “What could have happened to warrant a revocation of his bail at this point”

That was the 18th June but to date it is mere speculation as reportedly the crown filed ‘some complaint’ against the accused causing the judge to issue the following order. Then the question why and how the secrecy from the public?

The surprising development, although it would not have been unusual for the prosecution to seek to oppose continuing bail as they have before, once the trial which may have been called on Monday and the postponement allowed in view of the circumstances mentioned earlier. The order of the ‘revocation’ however suggests that there must have been some development that caused the judge, not to merely grant bail, but revoking a continuous state!

Dr. David Dorsette who admits that the case has evolved with several facets having returned to Antigua the previous Friday has said he is astonished and quite surprised at the developments. His role on the Brandt team of attorneys has had to do mainly with the constitutional issues.

Brandt’s attorneys have immediately sprung into action but the debate is continuing as to applications for bail and appealing against the judge’s decision to revoke the bail situation.

Meantime a week later on June 26, and with no meeting with the press, out comes the following, further strange, if not unusual. “…Please find below an official ‘Press Release’? on the above referenced matter for your kind attention:-

As the Registrar of the High Court on Montserrat, I have been directed by His Lordship Mr Justice Evans QC to make the following “public statement”.

It said: “…all members of the public must avoid making supportive or negative public statements in the media about Mr Brandt, or disparaging statements about the trial in general…with a jury drawn from the community, who must be unbiased, and that means they must be unaffected by what is said by others, which includes in the press or social media. This important principle of fairness applies to David Brandt…we must all ensure that he gets a fair trial.

“To ensure this, there must be no further comment, either in support or against, in the press or on social media about this case.” 

“His Lordship has directed that such comment as there has been, which has been collected into a file, must now be investigated by the police and the DPP as possible contempt of court.”

Remember the consititional motion? The judge informed the lawyers that he is denying the motion and he will give his written judgment at a later date but, it will be done in private. “Really,” as the denied attorney says, “this too will be done in private.” Another says, “what has the law gone to?”

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– a trial is set to begin on November 18, 2019, but meantime the judge issues ‘directive’ to stop comments on the case

This lingering high court criminal matter has been described on Tuesday in one report as follows: “The High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has ordered another ‘interesting twist’ in the case the Queen vs David S. Brandt.”

Attorney at Law, David S. Brandt, charged since 2015 with several counts of sexual offences

The high profiled lawyer Brandt has been charged since September 2015, along with new charges in November last year, several counts including sexual exploitation of girls under the age of 16 years.

Insert Ads Here
“Gareth Evans, QC, is former Head of Chambers at No5 Chambers. He specialises in both criminal and regulatory law. He acts for the Prosecution or Defence in all kinds of serious crimes including murder, manslaughter, serious sexual offences and drug cases.”
The Times (UK) July 8 2009
Retired in September 2017. Recently appointed and assigned Judge in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, replacing recused Judge Iain Morley in this related matter

With appeals and one or more constitutional matters that may end before the Privy Council arising out of the charges and hearings to date in the matter, causing delays and obvious frustration for the crown prosecutors, perhaps even the judges, the lead prosecutor Annesta Weekes QC resident in the UK having to travel to and from for the numerous hearings, witnesses being kept in security, the matter had been finally set for hearing to begin on June 18, 2019.

That information had been communicated to the ‘press’ by email on June 13, “ His Lordship The Hon Justice  Gareth Evans QC has requested that members of the press attend Court on Monday 17th June 2019 at 9.00 am to discuss  proposals on the reporting of factual matters pertaining to the trial  R V David Brandt which is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 18th June 2019.

There was no information then about a constitutional motion to be heard the following day, June 14. The motion was denied a hearing at the just completed Appeal court sitting the previous week.

That hearing involved a request by his constitutional attorney Dr. David Dorsette for messages on Brandt’s phone be thrown out of the case as their acquisition and use against him contravened his “Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual” with regards to – “protection for his or her private and family life, the privacy of his or her home and other property…” under the Montserrat Constitution.

Hon Iain Morley QC, appointed ECSC judge, agreed to recuse himself from the Brandt case

That motion was heard by the new judge Justice Gareth Evans QC who had replaced recused  Justice Iain Morley QC, High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), the Senior Criminal Judge on Antigua & Barbuda, and the designated Judge on Montserrat.

Legal sources and commentators have expressed suspicion that especially after he was recused and the replacement judge coming from the UK, that his appointment to the ECSC may have been by convenience to sit on the Brandt’s case. Reportedly Justice Morley’s recusal came at the request of both prosecution and defence, aided by their own admission that he and lead prosecutor Annesta Weekes QC, had previously worked together in the UK.

At the constitutional motion hearing, problems of a further delay raised its head with Brandt’s lead trial attorney out of St. Kitts-Nevis reporting being ‘seriously’ ill, just days earlier, putting doubt on the trial starting as scheduled the following week.

But during this time an issue faced Judge Evans after listening to legal arguments from Dr. Dorsette which at the end tentatively suggested that there might be no need for the applications due to be heard at the start of the trial, if his motion was to succeed.

Justice Evans reserved his ruling on the arguments from the defence and the Crown on the motion. On Monday a decision would be made as to the start of the trial and other related matters.

Comes Monday, senior media showed up in answer to the request from the Hon Justice Gareth Evans QC as noted earlier. But their presence was excluded as well as other members of the police, and the public from the court room as the judge and others directly related to the case had ‘some’ hearing in private. The press was told they should return at 2.00 p.m. and an email so indicated. But at midday a further email advised, “the meeting with the press scheduled for Monday 17th June 2019 at 2. 00 pm has now been cancelled.”

DPP Oris Sullivan

By evening information advised that the trial would now begin on November 18, 2019.

No further news on an anxiously awaited press meeting but it became obvious something happened, following the clearing of the court room the eventual cancellation of the meeting after it had been ordered that the Brandt’s trial would be postponed to November 18, 2019.

Then at 4.28 pm the Order shown

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is MNIHCR2019.0008-The-Queen-v-David-Brandt-Order-18th-June-201939402-436x600.jpg

here arrived by email following news that Brandt had been remanded to jail till his trial. That surely sent shockwaves, as the obvious query was raised, “What could have happened to warrant a revocation of his bail at this point”

That was the 18th June but to date it is mere speculation as reportedly the crown filed ‘some complaint’ against the accused causing the judge to issue the following order. Then the question why and how the secrecy from the public?

The surprising development, although it would not have been unusual for the prosecution to seek to oppose continuing bail as they have before, once the trial which may have been called on Monday and the postponement allowed in view of the circumstances mentioned earlier. The order of the ‘revocation’ however suggests that there must have been some development that caused the judge, not to merely grant bail, but revoking a continuous state!

Dr. David Dorsette who admits that the case has evolved with several facets having returned to Antigua the previous Friday has said he is astonished and quite surprised at the developments. His role on the Brandt team of attorneys has had to do mainly with the constitutional issues.

Brandt’s attorneys have immediately sprung into action but the debate is continuing as to applications for bail and appealing against the judge’s decision to revoke the bail situation.

Meantime a week later on June 26, and with no meeting with the press, out comes the following, further strange, if not unusual. “…Please find below an official ‘Press Release’? on the above referenced matter for your kind attention:-

As the Registrar of the High Court on Montserrat, I have been directed by His Lordship Mr Justice Evans QC to make the following “public statement”.

It said: “…all members of the public must avoid making supportive or negative public statements in the media about Mr Brandt, or disparaging statements about the trial in general…with a jury drawn from the community, who must be unbiased, and that means they must be unaffected by what is said by others, which includes in the press or social media. This important principle of fairness applies to David Brandt…we must all ensure that he gets a fair trial.

“To ensure this, there must be no further comment, either in support or against, in the press or on social media about this case.” 

“His Lordship has directed that such comment as there has been, which has been collected into a file, must now be investigated by the police and the DPP as possible contempt of court.”

Remember the consititional motion? The judge informed the lawyers that he is denying the motion and he will give his written judgment at a later date but, it will be done in private. “Really,” as the denied attorney says, “this too will be done in private.” Another says, “what has the law gone to?”