Thirty five-year-old construction worker Phillip Brown was arrested last December and charged with murder after he confessed to killing 31-year-old Kerry-Ann Wilson.
Brown allegedly confessed to Police that he killed Wilson his girlfriend after she told him she was pregnant with another man’s child.
According to Media reports it is alleged that the woman was beaten to death and that Brown wrapped her body in a tarpaulin and tried to dump her in a gully near Crystal Towers Apartment on Old Hope Road in St Andrew, where they had lived together.
It is very important to remember that Kerry-ann Wilson was pregnant at the time of her death. The Police are reportedly considering whether he should be charged with the death of the fetus as well.
That this has to be considered in 2017 speaks volumes about the archaic nature of the nation’s laws. It also speaks to the quality of the Legislature as a credible body which has responsibility to develop legislation to adequately protect the population.
Prosecutors also told the court that the police were not certain about Brown’s mental state and were also worried that he may abscond bail and interfere with the witnesses in the matter.
♦According to the bail Act a court may deny bail for an accused depending on the seriousness of the crime.
There is no crime more serious than murder !
♦ According to the Bail Act ‚an accused may be denied bail if he/she is likely to interfere with potential witnesses.
According to the Prosecutor the accused at best needs psychological evaluation and is likely to interfere with the witnesses in the case.
One of the techniques employed by the Island’s killers is to murder witnesses to their criminal actions.
It has worked effectively in getting them off murder cases, but has also had a dampening effect on the willingness of people to tell police what they saw.
Judges have a responsibility as officers of the court to follow and apply the law. Judges have no right to supplant the laws with their own emotions and social views.
Judges must seriously consider refusing bail when the crime is of a certain nature, ie murder, that is the spirit and intent of the law.
When the crime is as egregious as murder , much less the killing of a helpless innocent pregnant woman and a defenseless fetus , what more could a court want to see to say no to bail?
Those considerations alone are enough for any sane judge, and honest un-corrupted Judge, in any jurisdiction where there is a desire to not only follow the law, but send a message that innocent victims and their families will not be doubly penalized.
When the potential of interfering with, (killing), witnesses in this case is added to the mix, a judge is duty bound to deny bail.
The fact that this man killed his girlfriend , who just happen to be pregnant , is more than enough reason to lock him away from society.
Not for Judge Pettigrew-Collins.
Judge Pettigrew-Collins offered the killer bail in the sum of one million dollars , she ordered him to surrender his travel documents, and to report to the Police daily. A stop order was also placed on him at all ports and he was ordered to relocate to live with his father in Kingston 10 area.
We are all well aware that all kinds of murderers have been allowed to leave through the nations porous ports , that includes cop killers.
We also know that anyone can move around the small Island , kill anyone and be exactly where they ought to be as dictated by a court.
Effectively the accused killer in this case can hand over his papers to authorities , move across town to live his father kill the witnesses in the case and still report to the Half Way Tree Police as mandated each day and if he so chooses. He may also chose to simply hop on a flight and be out of the country , or take a boat and be shuttled out the country as Duppy film is rumored to have been.
None of these considerations mattered to Judge Pettigrew-Collins.
Anthony Williams lawyer for the accused, argued that his client had a right to bail and that the seriousness of the offence was not sufficient reason to deny him that right.
This has got to be the twilight zone, double murder is not sufficient to deny bail. On what planet would that line of argument hold sway in a court of law except in Jamaica?
“There is no doubt that he gave a confession statement and it is, indeed, a serious offence, but there are other considerations,” the lawyer told the judge.
That statement is inconsistent with the bail act but the judge did not correct him, she acquiesced and granted the double murderer bail.
The rule of law be damned.
In an age when stories abound that criminal defense lawyers are meeting with judges handling serious cases and handing them money to circumvent the process by letting murderers out of jail ‚what are we supposed to think about this case as has been the case with countless others?
Are we to continue believing in the fidelity of the courts, or are we going to pull our heads from the sand and face the stark reality that the courts are as much contaminated with the corrupting influence of money as all other public sector entities are?
Just this morning someone asked me to be a member of a social media group which will supposedly be militating against violence against women in Jamaica.
Jamaican women, are well represented in every strata of the society unlike other countries.
More so now than their male counterparts, as a result of Government and other policies which have favored women for decades.
This has resulted in a marginalization of our young men and a sense of anger in them which is now playing out with tragic consequences.
However, it is the actions of women like Judge Pettigrew-Collins which are jeopardizing the lives of every Jamaican not just women and their unborn children .