Photo Credit: The Sun
The Police Service Commission has written to Sergeant Philbert Bertrand, stating that he should return to work with immediate effect. The commission had placed Bertrand on half pay leave, after he was charged with causing grievous bodily harm, with intent, to Curvin Colaire. However, a “no case submission” was brought by defence counsel Gildon Richards in June, which was upheld by the court, and Bertrand was freed of the charge.
The Commission wrote to Bertrand on December 1, 2016, saying “Please refer to letter dated December 7, 2015, interdicting from the performance of your duties. I have to inform you that the Police Service Commission, after considering the criminal charge against you, has advised that you resume duties with immediate effect.”
Sergeant Bertrand was arrested and charged for shooting Colaire in Palm Tree, Wesley, on November 14, 2013. Colaire was shot after he attacked the police with a cutlass. At that time, the police were responding to a report that Colaire was armed with a weapon in the community, and that he was involved in an altercation with someone. Colaire was charged by the police for being armed with an offensive weapon, and was subsequently convicted.
However, Bertrand was later arrested and charged in 2015. Defence Attorney Gildon Richards ‘no case submission’ in June2016, claimed that his client had “No case” to answer, because the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against him. Seven of the prosecutions’ 13 witnesses were cross-examined by the defence, after the prosecution informed the court that they intended to proceed via paper committal.
Magistrate Arley Gill heard submissions from the prosecution, led by state attorney Carlita Benjamin from the DPP’s office. He then upheld the “no case submission” and said the case was riddled with “inconsistencies, lies, mischief, and innuendos.” That was a major legal loss for the State.
Gill called the case “a malicious manifestation of injustice,” stating that Sergeant Bertrand should not have been charged, and that laying the charge was malicious, vindictive and punitive.
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