Search on for ‘Ackee Man’
JUNIOR Christie, the homeless man who made the headlines last November after being sentenced to prison for three months for stealing ackees from the King’s House property, is in the news again.
Christie was given $30,000 bail after he appealed the sentence with the support of attorney-at-law, Hugh Faulkner, who is also executive director of the Legal Aid Council. Now he is needed by both his bailor, Cecil Warren, and Faulkner, as his appeal court date is set for September 24, but neither of them knows where to find him.
“We need him. We have to try and make contact with him by the latest Tuesday, in order to prepare a ‘skeleton’ of the argument we want to present to the court,” Faulkner said yesterday.
He explained that his office has already filed the grounds of appeal, but has to prepare copies of the “skeleton” for the judge and the Director of Public Prosecutions before the trial date.
Warren, who bailed Christie last December, said that he has not seen him in at least six weeks. He has been to his grandmother’s home at Langard Avenue in Kingston, and she has not seen him either.
But, Warren doesn’t believe that Christie is skipping bail.
“Maybe he doesn’t realise that the court date is this month,” he suggested.
Warren explained that after being granted bail in December, Christie was given a job at the National Stadium as a casual employee, but left the job because of constant teasing from his co-workers.
“He was a handyman, and he worked very hard. But I guess because he started showing up the others, they started teasing him. He complained to me about it, then he left,” Warren said.
There is concern that unless Christie shows up by next Tuesday, his case is lost. But, there is also the view among some legal experts that his case might already be lost, because after handing down the threemonth sentence, which created a public uproar last November, Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey found out that it was not Christie’s first offence.
Having regard for his record which was discovered after the sentencing, the Court of Appeal will now have to decide whether the sentence, which carried no fine, was “manifestly excessive”, or if it should stand. But, that also depends on whether Christie turns up in court, at all.