Buddy Facing 60 Years for Rape

Rape-accused Patrick Buddy of La Taste, St. Patrick, whose bail was rescinded by a sitting Magistrate is seeking to have it renewed at the level of the High Court.

Patrick Buddy – facing a maximum sentence of 60 years imprisonment on 2 counts of rape

Represented by seasoned criminal defense Attorney-at-Law, Anselm Clouden, the rape-accused man, who sported a Rastafarian hairstyle, appeared at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court on Monday, where he was arraigned before Guyanese-born judge, Justice Paula Gilford.

Buddy pleaded not guilty to two (2) Rape charges, brought against him by the state, on behalf of a 17-year-old girl, following alleged incidents in August 2017.
Attorney Clouden indicated to the court his intention to seek bail for his client whose prior bail was revoked at the level of the Magistracy, when he allegedly breached specific conditions set out by the court.

State Prosecutor, Crown Counsel, Crisan Greenidge, who is prosecuting the case, informed the court that as part of his previous bail conditions, Buddy had to “reside outside of the parish of St. Patrick and have no contact with the virtual complainant or witnesses” in the matter.

Buddy reportedly breached the conditions and the court revoked the bail.

Justice Gilford announced that she will not grant bail to the rape-accused at this stage and adjourned the matter to July 17.

Attorney Clouden indicated that he would prepare the necessary documents to reapply for bail on the next occasion.

St. David’s Man Gets 9 Years For Arson

A 38-year-old man from St. David has been ordered to spend the next nine (9) years and nine (9) months of his life incarcerated at the Richmond Hill prison for committing Arson.

The sentence was handed down on Clevroy Harry of Syracuse on Monday, by High Court Judge, Justice Paula Gilford at the St. George’s No. 1 High Court on St. John’s Street.

Harry, who pleaded guilty to setting the home of a St. David’s family on fire in August 2016, was represented by Attorney-at-Law Anselm Clouden.

In mitigating his defense, the experienced criminal defense attorney drew the court’s attention to psychiatric issues identified by the psychiatrist who evaluated Harry, which is believed to be why he acts spontaneously, especially under the influence of alcohol.

On the day of the fire, the convicted man had accompanied a St. David’s family with whom he was acquainted since childhood to a family outing in the village and was asked to leave when he got drunk and started using obscenities in front of the children.

Harry, who faced a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, confessed to getting vex and felt embarrassed when he was told to leave and as a result decided to commit arson.

According to the facts presented to the court by State prosecutor, Crown Counsel, Brendon La Touche, the convict, who has 16 convictions of which four (4) are of a similar nature, took a bottle with gas, which he found on the victim’s property, emptied the contents on a section of the house and lit it to start the fire.

Almost immediately after the act, he went to get water in an attempt to out the blaze.

Attorney Clouden considered this as a mitigating factor, noting that as a result “the damage to the house was minimal after Mr. Harry realised his folly.

“He seems to be mentally unstable…he carried out the crime on impulse, he acted impulsively without thinking,” the attorney said, referencing the Social Inquiry Report (SIR) in which, Harry’s own mother confirmed that he “gets ignorant and behave like someone who does not have sense when he drinks alcohol,” Attorney Clouden said.

Citing several points of law to support his argument, Attorney Clouden urged the court to not just look at the crime but to use an all rounded approach to sentencing his client, who he noted, was very remorseful from the time he realised what he had done.

The defense lawyer argued that prison is not the best option for his client, who has been on remand for the last two (2) years and three (3) months.

“Alcohol is his folly, he is in need of counseling…he needs help. Not imprisonment. Prison isn’t going to help him,” said Attorney Clouden, who also informed the court that he is fond of the now convicted man and can attest to his alcoholic problem.

Having fully reviewed the documents put forward by both sides in the case and listened to the arguments put forward by attorney Clouden, Justice Gilford agreed that Harry does need psychiatric assistance and counseling but took the decision to send Harry to prison for his “spontaneous” act.

As part of the sentence, the 30-year-old was also ordered to undergo psychotherapy treatment, counseling for alcohol abuse and any other treatment offered at the Richmond Hill Prison, failing which he would be subjected to an additional year behind bars.

Minding Your Legal Affairs

The Employee’s Rights- Part II

In Part I, one of the protections set out as being guaranteed by the Employment Act was that of the right to minimum standards set out in that Act.

Apart from the fundamental protections otherwise indicated in Part I, what are the minimum standards for contracting an employee’s labour?

This Part will deal with Hours of Work.

(1).Unless an employee is a shift worker:

(a) If he/she is an agricultural, industrial or construction worker, he/she cannot be required to work for more than 40 hours per week, Monday to Friday, unless he/she agrees, and he/she is paid at overtime rates;

(b) If he/she is a clerical or shop assistant, he/she cannot be required to work for more than 44 hours, Monday to Saturday;

(c) If he/she is a catering assistant, he/she cannot be required to work for more than 44 hours; and

(d) If he/she is a domestic worker or security guard, he/she cannot be required to work for more than 60 hours.

(2).Except for security guards and domestic workers, an employee cannot be required to work for more than 8 hours a day. This does not count lunch break, so an employee can be at the job for 9 hours, lunch time included.

(3).A domestic worker cannot be required to work more than 10 hours per day, with 2 hours on lunch/rest breaks included in those 10 hours.

(4). A security guard cannot be required to work for more than 12 hours per day.

(5). A lunch break must be given after no more than 5 consecutive working hours. A full hour for lunch is required unless the parties agree, and that agreement has been approved by the Labour
Commissioner. If it is not approved by the Labour Commissioner, the agreement is not effective. An employee cannot be required to work during his lunch break.

(6). No employer can require an employee to work for more than six (6) consecutive days without a day of rest.

(7). Any overtime work done must be compensated at time and a half on ordinary working days and double time on Sundays and public holidays.
Overtime work can only be done upon agreement and cannot be compelled.

(The above was submitted by the Grenada Bar Association)

Jason Skeete resigns from steelband

The embattled President of the Grenada Steelband Association, Jason Skeete has resigned from the body.

Skeete tendered his letter of resignation Tuesday against the backdrop of moves by government to set up an Interim body to run the affairs of the association pending the holding of elections for a new executive.

GSA has been split in recent months with one body involving mainly small bands sticking with the Skeete-led Executive and four of the larger bands making moves to form a breakaway body.

Following is the text of Skeete’s resignation as obtained by THE NEW TODAY newspaper:

16th April 2019

Dear All,

After careful recollection of all the events which have occurred.

I have reflected on the past 15 months of the Grenada Steel Bands Association, during my tenure as President.

It is evident to me that some of the larger and more established bands have continued to see the need to stifle the growth and development of the smaller bands and the artform in general.

They have collectively gone to some of the most erroneous, despicable, and unprofessional lows to ensure that financial accountability, and stability within the organisation does not materialise.

I have accidentally uncovered some stuff, many of which was passed to the Head of the FIU, and other law enforcement arms. I have also seen, members attempting to form a separate group unknown to the Executive, and these four bands making two unsuccessful, unconstitutional attempts to remove the current Executive.

In the midst of all this, I personally have been bearing the financial burden of running the organisation, something I can no longer do.

I have placed my shoulders to the wheel, and with the commitment I gave at the start, was able to lead the organisation into the largest Panorama in over two decades.

I sincerely hope that those contributing to the infighting will be able to do better, and to continue along the same path of Financial Accountability, Growth, Development, and Professionalism.

I sincerely hope that those who will contest and win executive positions will continue to work for Pan and not self.

I will not be part of an organisation that attacks my Faith and the God I serve and his son Jesus Christ, nor will I sit and allow disrespect towards my wife, and children. Neither will I lead an organisation where members have no respect for the constitution that governs it.

In the wake of total disrespect, and dishonest dealing from some prominent pan people and senior Government Officials, I have decided to step down as President effective immediately.

I wish every one God’s Blessings in their future plans.

Sponsorship Liason Officer appointed for Spicemas

Marketing Communications Manager of Sunshine Promotions, Akiera Paterson has been appointed by government to act as Sponsorship Liason Officer on a temporary basis with the state-funded Spicemas Corporation (SMC).

Akiera Paterson – lands temporary job as Sponsorship Liaison Officer

In making the announcement at the weekly post-Cabinet Press briefing, Minister of Sports and Culture, Senator Norland Cox told reporters that the decision was based on the recommendations of the private sector which want someone to relate with in terms of protecting their sponsorship in the annual festival.

According to Sen. Cox, Paterson has been contracted only for the duration of Spicemas which ends in August.

“…We have somebody dealing with sponsorship solely. So, that person is meeting the sponsors, holding their hands, ensuring that everything that they request is achieved from our end, so that’s the approach we are taking this year,” he said.

“…We have taken a more strategic approach in dealing with the private sector and we are having some good feedbacks and we are hoping to have a number of persons confirm their support on or before the launch, so that information will come out at the launch.

Sen. Cox described Paterson as one who is “competent in that area” and who just completed her studies at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

“…So, she is assisting us in helping us to engage our prospective customers in a professional way and to offer packages from Spicemas. So, she is helping us set up that framework and when that is done, Spicemas now can take that framework and move forward…” he said.

“…So, she is there just for a short period, just for the carnival period – between now and carnival – to help us to tidy up that, because we have received some complaints from sponsors as to how they were engaged from Spicemas. And having that Liason Officer, that was also their recommendation that they prefer to have somebody to deal with direct, who can look after and protect their sponsorship and so we acceded to their request and we asked Miss Paterson to do that for us and she has been working very hard and doing an excellent job for us”, he added.

Referring to private sector contribution to the Spicemas festival as an ongoing process, Sen. Cox is confident that with the appointment of the Sponsorship Liason Officer, the other members of SMC can now focus on “other important things like the planning and other critical things…”.

The Culture Minister said he is anticipating that the 2019 carnival will be one of the biggest ever to be experienced in Grenada and could surpass other major carnivals in the region without giving specific details for his optimism.

However, Spicemas organisers have said that the recent successes of Grenada’s soca artistes in Trinidad’s carnival with Mr. Killa taking home the International Power Soca competition will be a significant boost for the annual event in the Spice Isle.

Sen. Cox announced that there will be a media launch of the 2019 Spicemas on May 2 as a forerunner for the actual launch of the festival.

He said: “At that event, we’re going to be launching the theme for 2019 carnival. Later that week on Saturday, we’re going to have the launch at the national stadium, the Junior Murray/Rawle Lewis Stand. It’s going to commence at 3.00 p.m. with a parade. We’re asking some of the bands from last year to come out with their old costumes to the parade and we’re going to bring all the masqueraders, calypsonians…”.

Sen. Cox dropped hints that the Keith Mitchell-led government might pump more than the one million dollars allocated for the hosting of last year’s Spicemas.

“… I think last year was one point something million dollars government had allocated – the expectation is much more for Spicemas this year. As most Grenadians can agree, it would require that, maybe the government would have to invest more in this year’s activities to ensure that we put on a good showing of what we have here in Grenada and what we call Spicemas. The product is much more important to us”, he said.

THREE ARRESTED IN $25, 000 COCAINE BUST

Kevon Banfield – arrested in connection with the $25,000.00 cocaine bust

Two St. George’s men and a resident from St. John were the latest persons to be caught in the police dragnet in the fight against illegal drugs in the country.

Law enforcement officers arrested and charged the three (3) men in connection with the discovery of over EC$25, 000.00 worth of cocaine and over EC$5, 000.00 last week Friday in the northern parish of Gouyave, St. John.

The suspects – St. George’s residents Kevon Banfield and Kimon Baptiste were apprehended after a search of the vehicle they were traveling in turned up eight (8) ounces of cocaine while the other drug suspect, Enon Redhead, who resides at Gouyave was arrested after a search of his person turned up EC$5, 500.00.

Information reaching THE NEW TODAY is that the Police moved in on Redhead in a separate operation as he was considered to be part of the conspiracy.

According to a well-placed source, the police recovered eight (8) ounces of cocaine after searching the vehicle in which Banfield and Baptiste were travelling in.

Kimon Baptiste – the driver of the vehicle that was intercepted with the drugs

All three (3) suspects appeared before Magistrate Tahira Gellineau at the St. George’s No. 2 Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Banfield and Baptiste were charged with Conspiracy and Trafficking in a Controlled Drug while the charge of Money Laundering was slapped on Redhead.

Banfield and Baptiste have retained the services of Attorney at law Jerry Edwin while Redhead has retained Derick Sylvester.

According to an informed source, the cocaine was found in a bag on the floor of the passenger side of the vehicle, which was driven by Baptiste, when it was stopped by a plain clothes police officer.

The source said that police investigators suspect that Banfield, who occupied the passenger side of the vehicle when it was intercepted had conspired with Baptiste to meet with Redhead to carry out the alleged illicit drug transaction.

Enon Redhead – is facing a charge of money laundering

However, Baptiste, who is the owner of the vehicle, claims to have no knowledge whatsoever about the illegal substance and Attorney Edwin anticipates that the charges would be withdrawn against him.

The Police Prosecution team did not object to the granting of bail for the accused men, which was set in the sum of EC$25, 000.00 for Redhead, and EC$30, 000 each for Benjamin and Banfield, with two (2) sureties each.

Upon the request of the Police, the presiding Magistrate ordered the drug suspects from St. George’s to report to the Central Police Station and the St. John man to Gouyave Police Station every Wednesday between the hours of 6.00 a.m. and 6.00p.m.

The suspects are scheduled to make their second court appearance at the Gouyave Magistrate’s Court on April 30.