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Lawrence Bell remanded to Richmond Hill prison

Lawrence Bell - denied bail on first court appearance

Lawrence Bell, the senior public officer charged for eighteen counts of sexual abuse against a child, has been remanded to custody at the Richmond Hill Prison.

Fifty four year old Bell who spent the weekend in police custody appeared before Chief Magistrate Teddy St Louis Monday morning and was denied bail despite arguments from his lawyer, Anslem Clouden on the importance of the liberty of the subject.

Bell, a State pharmacy supervisor at the Ministry of Health, is accused of committing a multitude of sex crimes against one child dating back to 2009 when she was five years old, including four counts of indecent assault and five counts of sexual assault. He was also charged with nine counts of incest.

Bell is to appear before a Magistrate in the St David jurisdiction on Thursday when an application for bail will be considered a second time.

His attorney said the bail application could not be considered by the Chief Magistrate at the arraignment hearing on Monday because the prosecution was not prepared to offer certain facts of the case.

While calling the charges “serious”, Clouden also claimed prosecutorial unpreparedness.

The Magistrate in St David is expected to be recalled from vacation in order to hear the application for bail.

“The difficulty we had in our application for bail is that this matter emanated within the magisterial district jurisdiction of St David because the defendant resides at Marlmount in the parish of St David.

“The Prosecution was unprepared today. They did not provide me with disclosure, they hadn’t supplied the Court with any documentation so that the Magistrate had nothing before him. As a consequence the Prosecution moved the Court to have the matter transferred to St David, its rightful place.

Clouden said the lack of preparedness of the Prosecution is unacceptable.

He also said his client would be forced to take a COVID-19 test before entering the prison and he considers this to be an infringement on his client’s rights.

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