Judge lashes ‘out of order’ cop - Demands defendant in assault case to appear in court

March 03, 2023

Murder accused Rushawn Patterson failed to make his appearance in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Thursday, after arrangements were not made to have the detainee transported to the court.

Patterson is the accused in a case of assault occasioning bodily harm, stemming from an incident that allegedly took place on November 3, 2018. However, he is being held in custody in Montego Bay, St James, for the murder of Aneka 'Slickianna' Townsend.

Benjamin Frazer, attorney for Patterson, told Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque that he was informed by the police at the holding area of the court that Patterson was not brought. However, he was not given any reasons for his client's absence.

"Madam clerk, did you hear anything from the police?" the presiding judge queried.

"No, Your Honour. I spoke to the investigating officer, who is now stationed in Hanover," the clerk of court shared, noting that the file has since been reassigned.

Probing further, Judge Cole-Montaque asked the police in court if they were aware of the reason why Patterson was not taken to court, but they could not give an answer. It was suggested by the clerk of court that further enquiries be made of the custody officers to ascertain Patterson's absence. It was then that Frazer rose to address the court, stressing that it would be unlikely that his client would face the court.

"I was told by the police officer earlier that I should've called ahead of time. So it does appear that he won't come [to court], and I wouldn't want to waste time for checks to be made," the lawyer informed the court.

"I would like to know what police officer told you that, because that is grossly out of order. You cannot tell a lawyer that," an obviously peeved Judge Cole-Montaque said.

The judge said that she was uncomfortable with the utterances of the lawyer.

"The man doesn't come [to court], and some police feel like them must give counsel tough chat. Not even tough chat, out of order chat that. Those things must not be said at all, I don't like that at all. Nobody must be giving people reminders to bring prisoner to court; that's their job, and it is offensive,"Judge Cole-Montaque argued.

The judge then made an order that Patterson be brought to court on March 22.

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