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BRANDT: Evans re-arrest and remand unlawful

By Warren Cassell

Orin Evans whose conviction and 35-year sentence was overturned by the Court of Appeal in November was released from Her Majesty’s Prison on Friday, December 5, 2014 but subsequently re-arrested.

Justice Albert Redhead, upon a jury guilty verdict handed Evans, a Jamaican national, 35 years in prison in 2013 for the murder of Guyanese Business man Aubrey Barry of Cudjoe Head.  Evans appealed on several grounds including that the learned Judge mis-directed the jury on the issue of self defence.

At his appeal hearing, Attorney David S. Brandt representing Mr. Evans, argued that since the defendant raised self defence as an issue, the learned Judge ought to have indicated to the jury that it was for the prosecution to disprove self defence.

In the absence of a proper direction to the jury on the issue of self defence, the court quashed the conviction and set aside the 35-year sentence.

Subsequently, Evan’s attorney Brandt sent a letter to the Registrar of the High Court stating that there was no basis for his client, Mr. Evans to remain in prison.

Mr. Brandt based his argument on section 39 (5) (ii) of the Supreme Court Act which provides:

The Court of Appeal may, upon ordering a retrial, make such orders as appear to the court to be necessary or expedient for the custody or admission to bail of the appellant pending the retrial, or for the retention pending the retrial of any property, or money forfeited, restored or paid by virtue of the original conviction or any order made on that conviction.

Mr. Brandt contended on that section that since the Court of Appeal did not make an order for his client to be kept in custody pending retrial as it is empowered to do, there was no basis to keep his client in custody.

Shortly after receiving the letter, the acting Registrar Mr. Collin Meade reacted speedily and revoked the eventual order committing Evans to prison.

In his letter, Mr. Brandt raised several points including that the constitution makes provision for a person who is unlawfully detained to be compensated.  He also highlighted, after quashing the conviction, the Court of Appeal was empowered to order Mr. Evans remains in custody until his retrial.

The Registrar upon receipt of the letter, authorized the release of Mr. Evans.

Evans spent one night out of prison a free man and voluntarily attended the police station in Brades when he learned that a warrant was issued for his arrest on Saturday, December 6, 2014 and taken to the Magistrate’s court where the charge of murder was read to him.  The Senior Magistrate Robert Shuster remanded him to prison.

Attorney Brandt in an interview with ZJB radio, said that having regard to the law, the magistrate only has authority to remand an accused person for eight days at a time. The action of the Magistrate to remand him for more than eight days was therefore illegal.

Mr. Evans remains in custody and is expected to re-appear in court early next year for the commencement of his Preliminary Inquiry that will determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed before a Judge and Jury, again.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Warren Cassell

Orin Evans whose conviction and 35-year sentence was overturned by the Court of Appeal in November was released from Her Majesty’s Prison on Friday, December 5, 2014 but subsequently re-arrested.

Justice Albert Redhead, upon a jury guilty verdict handed Evans, a Jamaican national, 35 years in prison in 2013 for the murder of Guyanese Business man Aubrey Barry of Cudjoe Head.  Evans appealed on several grounds including that the learned Judge mis-directed the jury on the issue of self defence.

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At his appeal hearing, Attorney David S. Brandt representing Mr. Evans, argued that since the defendant raised self defence as an issue, the learned Judge ought to have indicated to the jury that it was for the prosecution to disprove self defence.

In the absence of a proper direction to the jury on the issue of self defence, the court quashed the conviction and set aside the 35-year sentence.

Subsequently, Evan’s attorney Brandt sent a letter to the Registrar of the High Court stating that there was no basis for his client, Mr. Evans to remain in prison.

Mr. Brandt based his argument on section 39 (5) (ii) of the Supreme Court Act which provides:

The Court of Appeal may, upon ordering a retrial, make such orders as appear to the court to be necessary or expedient for the custody or admission to bail of the appellant pending the retrial, or for the retention pending the retrial of any property, or money forfeited, restored or paid by virtue of the original conviction or any order made on that conviction.

Mr. Brandt contended on that section that since the Court of Appeal did not make an order for his client to be kept in custody pending retrial as it is empowered to do, there was no basis to keep his client in custody.

Shortly after receiving the letter, the acting Registrar Mr. Collin Meade reacted speedily and revoked the eventual order committing Evans to prison.

In his letter, Mr. Brandt raised several points including that the constitution makes provision for a person who is unlawfully detained to be compensated.  He also highlighted, after quashing the conviction, the Court of Appeal was empowered to order Mr. Evans remains in custody until his retrial.

The Registrar upon receipt of the letter, authorized the release of Mr. Evans.

Evans spent one night out of prison a free man and voluntarily attended the police station in Brades when he learned that a warrant was issued for his arrest on Saturday, December 6, 2014 and taken to the Magistrate’s court where the charge of murder was read to him.  The Senior Magistrate Robert Shuster remanded him to prison.

Attorney Brandt in an interview with ZJB radio, said that having regard to the law, the magistrate only has authority to remand an accused person for eight days at a time. The action of the Magistrate to remand him for more than eight days was therefore illegal.

Mr. Evans remains in custody and is expected to re-appear in court early next year for the commencement of his Preliminary Inquiry that will determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed before a Judge and Jury, again.