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169 pages of disclosure and three DVDs handed over as Jasmine Hartin reaches preliminary inquiry

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Posted: Wednesday, March 9, 2022. 12:48 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: After some delay, Jasmine Hartin, accused of the manslaughter by negligence death of Senior Superintendent Henry Jemmott last May, has received her disclosure in relation to that case.

The next stage is a preliminary inquiry which has been scheduled for March 31. If a prima facie case is found to be made out by the Magistrate, the case will be bound over for trial.

According to Hartin’s attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, “While the [next] session of the Supreme Court is in April, it won’t be able to reach that – I imagine the DPP’s office are at the moment preparing for all the cases in the April session, so it is hoped she could be included in the June session of the Supreme Court.”

It is at the Supreme Court where an indictment would be presented and dates set for case management, where “they are going all out for the kill,” no pun intended, according to Bradley.

As for the size of the papers the Crown has handed over, Bradley reminded that “a lot of times when you see large disclosures, they are banking on quantity; we are interested in quality. We would want to see which statements really contain a matter that goes to the allegation – the rest would just be fluff and formalities.”

Of the persons directly involved in the incident – Hartin and Jemmott, only Hartin is here to tell her side of the story, and her attorney said she has been going over the disclosure and assisting in preparing her defense, and there is an offer on the table for legal assistance from a Queen’s Counsel in Britain.

But should it get that far? While it is rarely done, the Magistrate is obliged to hear from an attorney and client wishing to challenge the statements presented for a prima facie case at the preliminary inquiry.

Bradley told us it is a matter he will discuss with Jasmine as several factors have to be weighed: “I will have to sit with Jasmine and have to go over every relevant aspect of the disclosure and advise her as to what will be the outcome of us challenging the matter at the preliminary stage.”

Bradley added that attorneys ideally should not waste the court’s time and if there is no reason to make the challenge now, then he wouldn’t; he also noted that a challenge now is partially “showing their hand” as to their defense at trial.

For her part, Hartin herself noted that on reading the first half of disclosure presented some months ago, she found “shocking surprises” within it and that the procedure has been “interesting” to her thus far, though for clear reasons she was not prepared to elaborate.

The court must also consider the issue of bail; Hartin was granted bail at the Supreme Court “for the duration of the case” rather than up to the preliminary inquiry. He was worried that the court may disturb the bail although it is the practice that the Magistrate’s Court ensures that bail continues after preliminary inquiry until the case is resolved.

Members of Jemmott’s family were in attendance at court today.

The preliminary inquiry is set for March 31 in San Pedro Town Magistrate’s Court.

 

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