‘Court’ in the rain

by Francis Joseph

THREE brothers, charged with murder since 1987, returned to their home at Chaconia Avenue, Morvant yesterday morning. But instead of going inside and re-acquainting themselves with the surroundings, they remained handcuffed outside in the road.

The roadway was the scene of a visit by the jury in the trial of the brothers. At the request of the prosecutor Reynold Waldropt, the 12 member jury was taken on visit to the scene of the alleged killing.

But it rained on Justice Stanley John’s parade. A brisk mid-morning shower chased the entire “court” back to their vehicles for the return trip to the Hall of Justice.

Curtis Charles, Steve Carter and Leroy Carter are before Justice John in the Port of Spain Third Assize Court charged with the murder of Anthony Ward at Morvant on July 31, 1987.

The entire “court”, including the defence attorneys Bindra Dolsingh, Martin George and Atta Kujifi, left the Hall of Justice shortly after 9am yesterday for their trek to Morvant. The jury was put in care of the marshals in a 25-seater maxi taxi.

The trial judge was chaffeau-driven, so too were the witnesses, the attorneys and the three accused. Two police motor cycle outriders escorted the entourage and ensured a smooth passage to Morvant.

Curious residents had already gathered to witness the proceedings. Apart from the police officers who accompanied the convoy to Morvant, there was additional strength from the Morvant Police Station.

The “court” reconvened at Chaconia Avenue, home of the three accused, in the bright sunshine. The court clerk read the jury roll and the case began.

By that time, there were more than 100 spectators at the scene, including relatives of the accused. The principal witness, Sharon Gorking, was called by the judge to explain bits of her evidence which she gave last week.

The “court” went into Gorking’s house. After which several minutes during which Gorking stood by her front window, the “court” returned to the roadway.

The three accused were handcuffed and closely guarded by policemen from the Court and Process Branch. Justice John then led the procession through a dirt track towards the Lady Young road.

Traffic on the two-way roadway was brought to a halt as the “court” spilled into the path of the vehicles. The witnesses were asked to explain parts of their evidence.

By that time, the traffic had piled up. Some motorists could not wait. They turned around and left the area. When he was satisfied with the evidence, Justice John headed towards a small parlour near to Chaconia avenue.

As the “court” headed towards the home of the accused, the rain began.  The case continued despite the inclement weather. No one escaped.

The case was eventually adjourned as the rain became heavier.

It was back to the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain where the case continued and by the end of the day, the prosecution’s case had closed.

 

 

 

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