Man imprisoned for over 20 years without trial granted bail today

Man imprisoned for over 20 years without trial granted bail today

Friday, July 03, 2020

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ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica — Another man deemed mentally ill who was imprisoned for over two decades was this morning granted bail when he appeared in the St Elizabeth Parish Court.

Forty-nine-year-old Abraham Lawrence is the latest citizen whose case has attracted national attention and outrage following an INDECOM report on the death of 81-year-old Noel Chambers in January. Chambers spent 40 years in prison without trial.

Lawrence was admitted into the custody of the Department of Correctional Services in 1999 after he was arrested in relation to an altercation where he allegedly threw stones at a group of men in Huntley Castle district, St Elizabeth. A police service vehicle was damaged during the altercation.

Senior parish court judge Ann-Marie Grainger granted Lawrence bail in the sum of $10,000.

“You will be looking about him to ensure he is taken care of,” Grainger told Lawrence's brother.

A psychiatrist report which was requested for Lawrence was not ready for court today.

Lawrence's attorney, Yushaine Morgan, had asked that the court grant his client bail.

Lawrence is scheduled to see a resident psychiatrist next Thursday and return to court in Santa Cruz on Friday.

Last week, 71-year-old George Williams was freed when he appeared in the St Catherine Parish Court.

The Ministry of Justice's Legal Aid Council in a press release on Tuesday stated that it is providing legal representation for two mentally ill detainees who are set to be released this month.

Lawrence was one of the two detainees. The other detainee, Morris Small is set to appear in the Trelawny Parish Court on July 30.

Kasey Williams


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