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May 8, 2015

Woman Freed of Murder After 4 Years Behind Bars

Lucilla Bartley

Almost four years ago, then forty-eight year old Lucilla Bartley, a single mother of two, was charged for the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Osborne Gordon, and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. The stabbing took place at the corner of Cemetery Road and Curassow Street just after midnight on Easter Sunday, 2011.  The bicycle repair man reportedly went to purchase alcohol when he ran into Bartley. They got into an argument after which he was stabbed twice to the left upper chest.  But after spending four years behind bars, today, Bartley walked out of the Supreme Court a free woman after Justice Troadio Gonzalez ruled that she had acted in self defence when she stabbed Gordon on April twenty-fourth, 2011. According to Gonzalez, no evidence had been provided by the prosecution to prove otherwise. As he spoke the words not guilty, an emotional Bartley was in tears in the dock, and left the courtroom immediately after…free after four long years behind bars.

 

Dickie Bradley, Attorney for Lucilla Bartley

“What transpired is that the law in this country is no different from the law all over the world. A person who is under attack has a right to defend herself or himself, and provided you do not use excessive force, the Court will do what Justice Troadio Gonzalez just ruled that in all the circumstances, all the evidence, her raising of self defence which was not disproved…there was nothing to prove that was not the case. The fact that she had tried to escape in her view, which is what is important…if you think that somebody is going to kill you, you would be a fool not to defend yourself. She tried to escape, she was prevented, and in the circumstances she did what she thought was the only thing she could do. So his Lordship looked at the evidence briefly just now, and his ruling was that she is not guilty, and she is not going to return to Kolbe as she has been doing over the past several days of the trial. She told me that she has not slept…that had she been found guilty she would have taken her life. She had been in jail for four years and God is great, as the Muslim say.”

 

Dickie Bradley

Reporter

“Sir the Judge said that the prosecution presented no eyewitnesses…that he had to rely on her statement to Police and her statement on the dock…in light of that, in light of the evidence which you are saying was evident…do you think it is a travesty of justice that she has lost four years of her life behind bars?”

 

Dickie Bradley

“Your question is most important for persons who are imprisoned where the evidence is clear they committed no crime, or in this case they could have charged her for manslaughter. She would have been on bail and she would not have lost four years of her life. You are correct. There is absolutely no evidence. From day one the Justice of the Peace gave a statement to the effect that Ms. Bartley came and told me what transpired, took me to the place where the knife was, got the knife and handed it over to the Justice of the Peace. That she was defending herself…she was under attack, and there are other statements in the disclosure from a witness who confirmed that she was under attack by that person. It is a travesty of justice that transpired, and God is great that she is now a free woman.”

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2 Responses for “Woman Freed of Murder After 4 Years Behind Bars”

  1. Chelbelle says:

    Thank God for Dickie! This country would be lost without him!

  2. Spike says:

    Well said Dickie. The Dept. of Public Prosecution should be sued for reckless and malicious prosecution in this case. Mrs. Bartley should be compensated, and those that have had her in jail for the last four years should themselves be jailed for four years.

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