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Feb 3, 2014

D.P.P. says Section 54 used to fine Peck is arguable

Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lyn Vidal has also responded to queries into the Peck case following trial and sentencing. Following mitigation pleas on his behalf, Peck was fined for the ammunition offences, as opposed to being confined. The decision by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith was taken after the D.P.P. pointed out to Peck’s attorney, Senior Council Simeon Sampson, section fifty-four of the Summary Jurisdiction Procedures Act. That Act lays out guidelines for magistrates in dealing with criminal offences. In her release, the D.P.P. states that she provided Peck’s attorney with that section, even though it’s applicability in the case of Peck was arguable. D.P.P. Vidal continues to say that, “The Magistrate read the section and immediately assumed jurisdiction under it and fined Peck, which of course, she was entitled to do, if she was of the view that it applied. There were no submissions made, no arguments on the matter.” And the D.P.P. concludes by stating that, “There are many views being expressed on whether or not the section can be invoked in this type of case and I believe that this is an issue that will only be resolved when there are full arguments before a Court. That day, I imagine, will come either at the hearing of Peck’s appeal, or if the next person convicted of such an offence prays the Section in aid.”

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