Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 16th 2013 Contents A5
Monday, December 16, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
This week is set to be the busiest for the
year for the Court of Appeal with Chief
Justice Ivor Archie and his fellow appellate
judges scheduled to deliver 16 outstanding
judgments before the court goes on its
annual two-week Christmas break on
The flurry of decisions comes on the heels
of widespread criticism of Archie and other
judges of the Supreme Court over delays in
the delivery of judgments.
On Friday, the judiciary issued a statement
in response to the criticism and Archie
accepted responsibility for the delays. Archie
also set new timelines for the delivery of
outstanding judgments in the new year and
pledged to intensify the court s efforts to
reverse "the challenging state of affairs."
Among the judgments that will be deliv-
ered this week are those of four death row
inmates challenging their murder convictions,
including Lester Pitman and Gerard Wilson,
who have both been waiting more than three
years for the decision in their appeals.
The duo s long-drawn-out judgments, as
well as those of fellow convicted murderers
Anton Bruce and David Donald, whose judg-
ments have been reserved by the court for
slightly shorter periods, will be delivered on
In addition, the court is expected to kick
off its hectic week with several civil judgments
which will be delivered today and the judg-
ment of three men who were sentenced to
life in prison after they admitted to murdering
a taxi-driver is scheduled to be handed down
Checks in the Appeal Court s registry on
Friday showed that not all the judgments
that will be delivered this week had been
listed. However, the T&T Guardian under-
stands that the lawyers involved in the appeals
were contacted directly by the court and
informed of the delivery timetable.
While the Appeal Court will give a large
number of judgments this week, it is yet to
set a date for a landmark case on whether
the 25-year mandatory minimum sentence
for drug trafficking can be considered cruel,
unusual and arbitrary punishment.
In that appeal, heard in July last year, two
convicted drug traffickers-Barry Francis and
Roger Hinds asked a special five-member
appeal panel to interpret the sentence pre-
scribed under Section 5 (5) of the Dangerous
Drugs Act (as amended in 2000).
The Criminal Bar Association intervened
as an interested party in the appeal, which
will affect more than a dozen convicted
drug traffickers who are currently awaiting
the judgment before they can be sentenced.
Judiciary sources said that ruling is likely
to be handed down in the first quarter of
16 judgments to be delivered this week...
by Appeal Court
After spending 18 days at the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt
Hope, the 28-year-old man accused of
killing six-year-old Keyana Cumberbatch
is scheduled to appear in court today
charged with her murder.
Sources at the health institution said
that the man was discharged on Friday
but was kept at the hospital for further
evaluation. Senior medical sources said
the man, who was kept on suicide alert,
was discharged for his asthmatic attack
but will be kept until today for a psy-
The man, who was reportedly last
seen in company with the child before
she was discovered missing, was warded
at the hospital after he suffered an asth-
ma attack on November 29. He was
officially charged with killing the child
on December 5 while still at hospital.
On December 9, his lawyer Fareed Ali
requested a psychological assessment
for his client.
Police also launched an investigation
into how a photograph of the accused
in police custody ended up on social
Cumberbatch went missing on
November 25. She was last seen leaving
her Maloney Gardens, D Abadie, home
on her way to her grandmother s apart-
ment one building away. Her decom-
posing body was found three days later
in her apartment, inside a plastic cargo
bag in a barrel next to her mother s bed.
Cumberbatch was hit in the head so
severely that her skull was cracked. She
was then sexually assaulted, an autopsy
Police investigators have no leads in the
murder of 28-year-old Kyle Williams.
Williams was gunned down in broad day-
light in Freeport on Saturday.
Police said the victim had three addresses,
including Freeport and Marabella.
A police report stated around 1.30 pm,
residents of Volman Road heard loud explo-
And on checking saw a man running
away from armed men who were shooting
When the police arrived shortly after,
they found Williams lying on the road bleed-
ing from several wounds.
He succumbed to his injures.
Up to late yesterday no-one was arrest-
ed.Supt Johnny Abraham was among a team
of police officers from Central Division who
visited the crime scene.
Insp Ramjag is continuing investigations.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar dressed up in her Santa outfit holds little two-year-
old Adonis Sankar at her annual Christmas treat held at Skinner Park, San Fernando,
yesterday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
In 2004, Pitman, 34, of Upper Bushe Street,
San Juan and neighbour Daniel Agard were
both convicted of the murders of British agri-
culturalist John Cropper, his mother-in-law
Maggie Lee and his sister-in-law Lynette Lith-
The duo were accused of murdering the fam-
ily members at Cropper's Mt Anne Drive, Cas-
cade, home, on a date unknown between
December 11 and 12, 2001. They were found
bound and gagged with electrical wire and their
throats were slit. Cropper's wife Angela, a for-
mer Independent Senator, was not at home at
The Appeal Court reserved its decision in Pit-
man's case in March 2010.
Of the four convicted murderers, Wilson has
been waiting the longest for his judgment, with
Archie and two his colleagues reserving their
judgment in his appeal since November 2009.
In 2006, Wilson was convicted of the murder
of 77-year-old pensioner Esther Mae Vidale.
During his trial in the San Fernando Assizes,
Wilson, now 56, of Marabella, was accused of
strangling Vidale during a break in at her Eric
Road, Siparia, home, between November 8 and
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