Attorney-at-law, Donald Bryan, this morning apologised to the court and jury for his sudden departure which caused the delay of a murder case before the Home Circuit Court.
Bryan is representing 22-year-old Arthur Robinson, a co-accused in the murder of 74-year-old returning resident Florist Clarke of Watt Town, St Ann. Robinson is charged jointly with Clarke’s husband Bertram. In early December, the trial had to be put on hold until today because of Bryan’s absence and the failure of the Legal Aid Council to get another attorney to represent Robinson.
The court was told that Bryan left the island while the case was ongoing without giving an explanation. The presiding judge, Gloria Smith, had expressed shock at Bryan’s behaviour.
When the trial was called up this morning, the attorney told the court that when he left the island, the case was at a stage where it could have proceeded in his absence without any undue inconvenience to the court.
He also said he did not perceive that his absence would have created any consequence to the case. Justice Smith said she would not take action regarding the attorney’s conduct at this stage to avoid any bias or prejudice in the case. However, she says she will address the matter at the end of the trial. The 12-member jury was asked to return on Thursday as the lawyers are now making legal submissions in its absence.
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