Bordelais Director Vows To Investigate

Hilary Herman is concerned about why prisoner was taken to ex-girlfriend's home.

The story of a young woman who was assaulted in her own home by a prisoner when police officers came to her Gros Islet home to conduct a search caught the interest of many earlier this week. The young woman, who we referred to as Solange* to concealed her identify told the STAR the man in question was her ex-boyfriend who she has made several reports against in the past.
“About 10:30 on the morning of August 16 they came to my home,” she told us. “I looked out the window then went outside. The officer did not tell me his name, he told me he had [name deleted] from Bordelais there and they came to search a bag in connection with gold in the bag. I explained to them before they came inside that police had already come to search the very same bag the week before.”
The young woman went on: “I didn’t understand. If police had to search the bag, why did they have to bring him inside? This is a dangerous man who I’ve made countless reports about before. The officer said he had to come search the bag himself and I agreed although they did not show me any warrant. They just came with their bulletproof jackets; they were in plain clothes. [Name deleted] had no handcuffs. His hands were free, he had shackles on his feet, but they allowed him to enter all the rooms, pull up all my bed, he went in the back of my house, cut across me go in the kitchen to watch the pipe, the stove—and you come to search a bag? What are you doing in my place like that? To make things worse the officers allowed him to search the bag himself.”
Things got out of hand while police conducted their investigation and the Bordelais inmate wound up punching the young woman in the head in the presence of the two officers.
“I told the officers he was there to cause trouble from the start,” the young woman who works as a nail technician told the STAR. “While I was doing my client’s nails I just felt my head get heavy. I was face down in her nails paying attention to her. I lifted my head and I realized he hit me and he was trying to do it again. I had a scissors there I used for pedicure so I picked it up to defend myself. I didn’t swing; I didn’t
rush on him or anything. The lady took the scissors from me and told me to relax and I calmed down. The officers just kept saying, “That’s not the time for that.” The officers were not even paying attention to me. I had to be asking, “Officer, what am I supposed to do now?” He’s like, “You know what you supposed to do, go in the station and make a report.” I’m like, you haven’t even told me your name! He told me his name, and I would recognize them both if I saw them again.”
Prison Director Hilary Herman confirmed that the man in question had left the Bordelais Correctional Facility on the morning of Tuesday, August 16 for a court appearance. What happened once the inmate was dropped off and placed into police custody he could not say. What he could say however was that the investigation was ongoing.
“My investigator is on the road,” he said. “We have an idea of who the officers are, but we need to get some collaboration. We take him to court and when we get there hand him over to the police. What happens after that, there could be several different handovers. It depends on if the case continues, then inmates can stay at the custody suite and come back two or three days later. It all varies on the case and the officer. Those are the things we have to find out.
“He had no business there handcuffed or not,” Herman added. “I don’t know why he was taken there but that’s a police operation, I cannot speak or comment. I don’t know that it went wrong, but I don’t know what went right either. I won’t know exactly what went on until we get the facts. I can tell you how and why he was out and how he got to court. Hopefully I will know something by early next week, I will have to brief my ministry on it.
“I would definitely recommend that the young woman pursue a restraining order,” Herman added. “He obviously will get out eventually so she needs to work on that now. She needs to go to family court to get them to do that.”
At press time, police commissioner Vernon Francois could not be reached for a comment. Assistant Commissioner of police Moses Charles was “caught off guard” and said he had been out of the island and hadn’t heard about the incident. This reporter offered to give him a summary of what transpired, but he declined, adding that he needed more time before commenting on the incident. Charles then directed us either to Frances Henry, Assistant Commissioner of Police Crime, or the police press relations department.
When contacted Frances Henry had no knowledge of the incident and again referred the STAR to the police press relations department. At that point, it seemed as if no one wanted to touch the issue, not even with a ten-foot pole!
Thankfully, police press officer Trevor Constantine gave a general statement. When asked about the procedure for police officers carrying out searches of people’s homes for investigations of robberies and other such incidents the police press officer said officers first needed to have a warrant signed by a magistrate in their possession. When they got to the premises, they were required to knock and inform persons of their possession of the search warrant before coming inside.
“You must be fully cognizant of the fact that they have a warrant in their possession,” Trevor Constantine told the STAR.
“Depending on what they are investigating, if he had a matter pending while serving time for something else, they can come take him from prison to search,” Constantine revealed.                 “However, if he’s brought along with police to conduct a search, he’s not supposed to do the search himself. The police are supposed to do it. If he
wants to volunteer information, tell them where to look that’s fine. Police are supposed to conduct the search themselves and that’s the procedure.
“While the search is being conducted the person must be present at all times, at every stage of the search,” Constantine added. “Whatever you get you’re required to point it out in their presence.”
When it came to the issue of restraints, Constantine said officers could use their discretion, depending on whether or not they felt the person was an escape risk.
“They should have looked at him as an escape risk because he has escaped before!” the young woman told the STAR. “Once when he was taken upstairs Liat for court he escaped with handcuffs behind his back, how you don’t expect him to escape now? He found me the time he escaped and beat the [word deleted] out of me in 2009.”
Since the incident the young woman has filed an official police report and says her next step is to finally get a restraining order against the man she considers to be “a menace to society.”
“One of the officers I spoke to told me it would take long for the case to be called because of the fact that he’s in jail. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to go through with it. I’m not sure how long he’s in jail for. [Name deleted] called me again from prison and
passed me onto a prison officer who said he
wanted to come to my home to talk to me. I told him I didn’t want to talk about anything. He informed me that the officers were not from Bordelais but from town. All I want to do is get my restraining order so he’ll stay away. I don’t want to be involved in this police thing.”

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