Hal Martin passes
BARBADIAN BUSINESSMAN Hal Martin has died.
The hotelier, who owned Regency Cove Hotel in Hastings, Christ Church, passed away in California on Monday at age 68.
Businessman Mohammed Nassar yesterday described the late activist and crusader for many causes as a stalwart who would be sadly missed.
“The saviours of this country are men like Hal Martin, who put everything on the line and challenged the system to move black people forward, and paid a tremendous price for it.
“I am one who will sadly miss him,” Nassar said, as he related how Martin used his contacts and influence with businesspeople in California, where he also lived and operated businesses, to provide resources for local black businessmen.
“Barbados has lost another stalwart in the quest for a better deal for black business in Barbados,” wrote Senator John Watson on his Facebook page.
In extending condolences to Martin’s family, president of the Small Business Association, Dean Straker, wrote on Watson’s Facebook post: “I found him to be always very pleasant and most informative in the many meetings we scheduled over the last ten years. The justice system in Barbados seems to have failed Hal regarding his real estate. RIP Hal.” ( GC)
QC knocks long wait for trial dates
ON THE SAME DAY that Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson was hitting back at criticisms of delays in Barbados’ justice system, a senior attorney was in court complaining about the time it took to secure trial dates for clients.
Speaking hours after Sir Marston addressed the issue of the backlog of cases in the criminal justice system at the opening of the new law term in Supreme Court No. 1 on Monday, Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim lamented that “there is no provision in this country to get a speedy trial”.
He told the Bridgetown Traffic Court: “There are over 1 500 cases of this ilk [indictable offences] pending in the Supreme Court, and only two judges to deal with them. One judge in that court has not done 15 cases to date.”
Pilgrim was making a submission on behalf of 24-year-old Niko Tristan Forde, of No. 27 Lukes Avenue, Bayville, St Michael.
Forde and Dario Delisle Flatts, 20, of Block I2, Field Place, also in Bayville, are jointly charged with entering the dwelling house of Lennox Richards as trespassers last Friday and stealing $300, while having a firearm.
The two, who were not required to plead, appeared before Acting Magistrate Sandra Rawlins.
Prosecutor Station Sergeant Carrison Henry objected to bail for both men on the ground that it was a serious offence in which a firearm was allegedly used, despite investigators not having recovered the weapon.
He also said both men were on bail from another court, and Flatts was known to the court for a similar matter for which he had been convicted.
“Ma’am, it is clearly inadequate for them to be remanded,” Pilgrim argued. “In the context of justice in Barbados, five years is a long time to be waiting on a trial. I have clients on remand awaiting trial more than five years now. I also have clients on bail awaiting trial more than eight years now.”
He then invited people in the court to tell him of an indictable case that had come to trial before five years.
Using one of his cases as an example, he said if the accused pleaded guilty in an effort to fast-track the case, it could take as little as nine months to get the ball rolling.
“My understanding is the complainant in this matter said he saw something silver in the accused’s hands. That
could be anything and can take five to 15 years to recover . . . .
“My client has appeared in court every time he has been required to do so, and it tells me that he will do so when required.
“He has a matter pending for throwing a big rock. He is not known to the court nor has been previously convicted. There are hundreds people out on bail for more serious matters,” he said.
However, the acting magistrate did not agree with Pilgrim’s arguments and denied bail.
“What concerns me is both are out on bail, and having committed such an offence, I am not going to grant them bail at this time,” she said before remanding them to HMP Dodds.
Forde and Flatts are to return to court on November 9.
Woman owns up to car damage
AN UNEMPLOYED WOMAN yesterday admitted to damaging a car on September 1.
However, Nikita Hettie Maria Brathwaite, 26, of Yearwood Road, Black Rock, St Michael, pleaded not guilty to using a Toyota Starlet without the consent of owner Akinola Griffith sometime between September 3 and 4.
She was granted $1 600 bail and ordered to return to the Bridgetown Traffic Court tomorrow, when the complainant is expected to give an account of the damage.