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Dec 28, 2016

Well-Known Media Personality Refuses to Provide Blood Sample Following Fatal RTA

Alfonso Noble

U.D.P. loyalist Alfonso Noble spent the entire weekend – all of four days in Police custody. But he didn’t spend those days in a cell – instead he spent them in an office at the Raccoon Street Police Station. So, were Police being heavy-handed when they held him for four days or were they offering special treatment when they allowed him spend those days in an office instead of the customary cell. Regional Commander, ACP Chester Williams of Eastern Division South explains that Noble wasn’t singled out because of his political affiliation and that it was he, Williams, who made a decision on his discretion that Noble should spend the days in an office, but it wasn’t preferential treatment. In an interview with the media this evening, Williams gave us an update on where the Police stand as it relates to this case.

 

Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams, Regional Commander, Eastern Division South

“What the Police were interested in, first and foremost, was to do things the right way and do it by the books. We did not want to have any misstep with the investigation. We did not want to blunder with the investigation and it is not unprecedented that a person is kept in custody after an accident; this has been done before. The Police would normally issue NIP in circumstances where it is difficult to ascertain what may have occurred on the scene, so the Police investigation process may take a little while longer; so the Police will normally do that. But where from the Police investigative view, they are of the belief that a certain person may have been at fault, the police can proceed and proffer charges immediately without issuing an NIP and in this case that is exactly what we did. And Mr. Noble, I can tell you, was not singled out because he is affiliated with any political party. He understand what we were doing because I explained to him the entire process and I must say that he cooperated – in terms of his entire behavior towards the investigation and at the police station.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, are your officers able to say, he refused to give a specimen – his attorney said today for religious reasons; are you able to say if your officers perceived Mister Noble as intoxicated?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“I don’t know where Mister Panton normally get his things from, but that is his defense. The law does provide that the police may request blood or urine specimen and that was done. So, even if as Mister Panton is saying for religious reasons he doesn’t want to extract blood, religion does not stop you from peeing and that is the alternative that we have other than blood. And both processes were refused by Noble in relation to the investigation.”

 

Reporter

“Did he appear inebriated or to be under the influence?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“I was on the scene. I am not a doctor and cannot say whether or not he was drunk as the case may be. I can say that he spoke well. But being actually drunk and being legally drunk is two different things.”

 

Reporter

“But you cannot determine if he was legally drunk if he didn’t provide a specimen?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“Exactly.”

 

Reporter

“Was he given special treatment in so far as was he not allowed to be in the detention cell but in an office at the Raccoon station?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“While, yes, he may not have been kept in a cell block, he was kept at the Police Station not in any other office with no special treatment. So, to answer your question I would say yes and that was a discretion that I made being the person in charge of my station considering the fact that it was an accident, not an intention killing. It was an unfortunate situation that anybody could find themselves in at any given time.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, now his defense has demanded disclosure by the next court date; will you all be able to meet that?”

 

ACP Chester Williams

“I could understand Mister Panton plight in wanting to get disclosure, but the criminal practice and procedure rule are very clear and I am sure that when the time come if the Police do not have the disclosure ready, the Prosecutor will be able to argue before the court using the rules of the court, where indictable matters are concerned disclosures are to be given within fourteen days of the preliminary inquiry. That is clear in the rules. That does not prevent the Magistrate from ordering the Police from giving disclosure earlier; where that is done, the Police can go to the court and argue that ‘Your Honour, we have not been able to provide the disclosure because XYZ and the preliminary date is not upon us‘ and again, is it relates to production of the case file, the rules are also clear; it must be done within – no later than eight weeks, so there is sufficient time for the police have to be able to investigate properly than when we do give  disclosure, we give the proper disclosure that we should give.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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