By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A WOMAN was denied bail yesterday after a judge determined that there was no unreasonable delay in her trial concerning the murder of a female friend.
Katriona Gilbert appeared before Justice Bernard Turner yesterday for a decision on her bail application for release from prison ahead of her June 2016 trial concerning murder and arson charges stemming from the discovery of the body of Ariel Lowe in Miller’s Heights earlier this year.
Justice Turner ruled that there has been no delay in the trial, which is less than a year away and that Gilbert would have spent just over a year on remand when trial is called.
The judge further noted that the record of interview in police custody, which her lawyer has challenged, is an issue for trial. He also said that there was no indication the prison cannot take care of health issues such as asthma and a skin rash.
The judge said he did feel concerned that Gilbert’s young daughters have been deprived of their mother, but said it was an unfortunate consequence of remand for the serious charge the accused is facing.
Lowe’s partially burned body was found with a “black cord” wrapped around her neck inside the home of Karen Stubbs on February 23, according to initial reports.
Gilbert, who was also not allowed to enter a plea to the indictable offences when arraigned in Magistrates’ Court in March, denied the allegations when formally arraigned in Supreme Court in May.
Last Thursday, prosecutor Ambrose Armbrister objected to the bail application on the basis that there was no untimely delay in the matter and that the Crown’s evidence against the accused was solid.
Attorney Robert Reckley countered that in the absence of the alleged confession reluctantly taken in the absence of Gilbert’s lawyer, there was no forensic evidence tying his client to the crime scene.
Mr Reckley said Gilbert was not a flight risk, and would not interfere with any witnesses.