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DPP moves garbage truck case to Circuit Court

Saturday, November 16, 2019

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DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn yesterday brought a Voluntary Bill of Indictment, effectively pushing the case involving the driver of the garbage truck that killed seven-year-old Clan Carthy Primary School student Benjamin Bair right into the ambit of the Circuit Court in downtown Kingston, instead of the St Andrew Parish Court.

The DPP, as the highest prosecuting authority in Jamaica, is empowered under section 2 (2) of The Criminal Justice (Administration) Act to prefer what is called a Voluntary Bill of Indictment moving a case straight to the Circuit Court without the necessity for any preliminary examination of the accused before a resident magistrate.

Fifty-two-year-old Alten Brooks of 9 Miles, Bull Bay in St Andrew, who the police have identified as the driver of the ill-fated truck, was on Wednesday charged with manslaughter after a ruling from the Office of the DPP.

The DPP told the Jamaica Observerthat Brooks, who has been remanded in custody, will be brought before the court on January 15.

Lawyer for Brooks, Davion Vassell, told the Observer that when the matter was brought up in the High Court yesterday, “the file was said to be incomplete because two documents were outstanding“, leading to the January 15 date being set. He said the post-mortem report for Benjamin and the report of the accident reconstruction unit were the absent records.

Benjamin was on October 28 crushed to death by the garbage truck at his school in St Andrew.

A police report alleged that Brooks had left the truck to collect refuse on the school compound when the parked vehicle ran back, crashing into a taxi before overturning on Benjamin.

A parent, who was exiting the taxi, suffered a fractured limb during the incident.

Brooks reportedly fled the scene before surrendering to police four days later.

– Alicia Dunkley-Willis


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