By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
TWO Immigration officers accused of permitting and aiding the escape of three detainees from the Carmichael Road Detention Centre were denied bail yesterday when arraigned in Magistrate’s Court.
Nadia McPhee, 26, of Murray Street, and Samuel Poitier, 28, of Gamble Heights, were escorted to Court 8 at the Nassau and South Streets complex where Poitier was encouraged by relatives and colleagues to be strong before their appearance before Magistrate Andrew Forbes.
McPhee faced three counts of “permitting the escape of a prisoner from lawful custody” while Poitier faced three counts of “abetment to permitting the escape of a prisoner from lawful custody.” On Boxing Day, December 26, 2012 Audley Pierre, Enoch George and Joseph Gpedmen escaped from the detention centre.
Both officers, who are now on half pay, requested to be tried in Magistrate’s Court before pleading not guilty to the charges.
On the issue of bail, ASP Ercell Dorsett said he had no objection to the officers being granted a bond ahead of the March 7, 2014 trial date.
However, Magistrate Forbes invited the prosecutor and Tonique Lewis – attorney for the officers – to correct him if he were wrong in his belief that section 43 of the Bail Act removed the court’s discretion to grant bail to the officers on those charges.
The prosecutor, referring to the law agreed with the magistrate who then informed McPhee and Poitier that they would be denied bail on that basis.
However, he informed them of their right to apply for bail to the Supreme Court before remanding them to Her Majesty’s Prison until completion of their trial.