Hadfield St rubber bullets charges against cops dismissed

Two senior police officers who were facing private criminal charges of unlawfully wounding opposition activists during a protest had the case against them dismissed yesterday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrate Judy Latchman, in giving her ruling, told the court that the prosecution had failed to offer adequate evidence that Senior Superintendent Lyndon Alves and Superintendent Errol Watts had unlawfully wounded the protestors.

Watts and Alves had been placed on self bail after they pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Attorney Patrice Henry, representing the police officers, told the court that the case should be dismissed because only two of the several protestors gave what had turned out to be blemished evidence in the matter. He said the others have failed to show up in court on several occasions for reasons only known to them and excuses were being offered throughout the matter for their absence.

Joan Baveghems, a complainant, told the court that she had heard Watts tell the other officers to shoot at the protestors. Sarah Johnson, another protestor, pointed out Alves for Watts, when she was asked to point out the shooter.
The other parties who failed to attend the trial were attorney-at-law James Bond, Brigadier (rtd) Edward Collins and Tom Dalgety.

The protestors had been shot with rubber bullets while they were protesting along Hadfield Street on December 6, 2011. They claimed they were shot by Watts and Alves.

Henry said the facts of the offence did not propose that Watts and Alves commanded anyone to use weapons and the bottom line of the no-case submission was that there was no evidence to suggest that the officers used the weapons personally, although weapons were used.

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