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May 8, 2017

If Charged, Attorney Says Accused Could Go Free On Bail

Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley

The alleged rape of the Dangriga resident has raised numerous questions on the role of the judiciary in respect of indicting one of its own.  While there is a gap in law where sexual offenses are concerned, rape is a crime for which the accused can be granted bail.  Senior Counsel Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley does not represent Magistrate Norman Rodriguez; however, he has shared a professional legal opinion on the matter.


Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, Attorney at Law

“I’m glad you mentioned the word allegation because the magistrate against whom a very serious allegation has been levied has been featured prominently in the news, on the Facebook, as I understand, all over the place.  His name has been called and I hope you don’t mention names.  I will call no name, but it is an allegation and it is a very serious allegation which means, because of the sensational nature of the allegation and the position that the person holds, it is important that the media tries some restraint and not be sucked into the Facebook aspect of what has happened.  You may be right; everyone who has a long memory in the judiciary says that they cannot recall a sitting magistrate being accused of such an offense as rape.  Rape is an offense where the law has a loophole, in that sexual offenses are treated as if they are not offenses for which a magistrate can grant bail.  Incest, carnal knowledge and what in America they call statutory rape, those are not bailable in the magistrate’s court.  Rape, for some reason, has escaped that attempt to be more forceful in sending a message by allowing a magistrate to continue to exercise the discretion that they can or cannot give bail.  In this case, if a charge is brought against the sitting magistrate, he would be a candidate who, on the face of it, is entitle to bail.  He was out of the country, he came after the news broke in the media that the DPP had given instructions for a charge to be levied.  He returned to the country to face that charge.  He is here in the country, so clearly you can’t say that the main concern in relation to not granting bail, that if you arrest somebody and take them to court on a very serious charge and you grant them bail, they will abscond from the jurisdiction of the court.  That is highly unlikely for a person who comes home to deal with the matter.”

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