A magistrate who refused to recall a bench warrant she issued for an accused when he failed to show up in court, has been ordered to re-hear the application for the withdrawal of the warrant.
Justice Frank Seepersad made the order yesterday. He also declared that the decision of Magistrate Adia Mohammed to dismiss Winston Sutton’s application to have the arrest warrant withdrawn was fundamentally “flawed, restrictive and myopic.”
In a nine-page written decision, Seepersad held that the magistrate failed to take into account relevant and material considerations and paid insufficient regard to the overriding objectives of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2016 (CPR).
Sutton, who is before the court on a charge of grievous sexual assault, failed to appear in court on November 7, 2017, when his matter was recalled.
A bench warrant was issued for his arrest, but Sutton and his attorney, Wayne Sturge, went to court on November 9, indicating there was a mix up by them of the adjourned date for the case.
An application was made for the warrant to be withdrawn, but the magistrate refused. She said if she did so it would open the floodgates for abuse.
She also said in her view section 5.4(2) of the CPR should be applied in situations where the warrant was issued unlawfully, as a result of an administrative error or where the accused arrived late on the stipulated day on which the warrant was issued.
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