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Jamaican Man Must Wait On Bail Decision

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A JAMAICAN must wait another week before he learns whether he will be granted bail ahead of trial concerning the alleged sexual assault of an underaged girl.

Matthew Sewell, 27, reappeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt after a decision on his bail application was deferred by one week to allow Crown prosecutors time to properly file objections and supporting information, if any, before the court in the form of an affidavit.

Crown prosecutor Kendra Kelly told the chief magistrate yesterday that an affidavit had been filed the day before.

The court, however, said it was only in receipt of documentation from Sewell’s counsel.

The chief magistrate said she would need time to review the documents and the matter was adjourned to Thursday, February 18.

Adrian Gibson and Alex Morley appeared for Sewell in the hearing.

Sewell is facing a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse, allegedly committed between the night of January 18 and early morning of January 19.

It is claimed that he had sex with a 15-year-old girl who is legally unable to give consent.

Sewell will not be allowed to enter a plea to the charge until formally arraigned in the Supreme Court.

A voluntary bill of indictment (VBI) will be presented to him in Magistrate’s Court on March 17 for the case to be fast-tracked to the higher court.

In October 2015, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Isaacs ordered Sewell’s immediate release from custody because he had spent nine years in and out of prison without trial for a number of criminal offences.

Sewell has since filed a civil suit against the government and, as he did in his habeas corpus hearing, is using the historic case of Atain Takitota as a legal authority.

Takitota, a Japanese man, was awarded more than $1m in damages for his unlawful detention in prison.

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