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Judge raps Crown for outstanding documents in baby-snatching case

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, March 14, 2019

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JUDGE Sanchia Burrell yesterday took the Crown to task in the highly publicised baby-snatching case when the matter was mentioned in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Judge Burrell expressed disappointment that there were three outstanding statements from the Registrar General's Department (RGD) that have been hindering the Crown from completing its case.

Noting that the situation was unacceptable and that she expected the matter to be transferred to the High Court by July 13, Judge Burrell said it should not be difficult to collect statements from people who are employed to an agency of the State.

At the same time, Judge Burrell argued that the public wanted to know that the matter is prosecuted, given that the day-old baby boy was stolen from Victoria Jubilee Hospital where women go every day to give birth.

Last month, 27-year-old Peta-Gay Ffrench was arrested and charged with child stealing after she went to the RGD in Twickenham Park, St Catherine in an attempt to have the stolen baby registered, but officials at the department grew suspicious after noticing discrepancies with the documents she submitted.

A DNA test later confirmed that the baby belonged to Sinclair Hutton and Suzzett Whyte, whose baby had been snatched from the hospital on January 9.

Insisting that the preliminary report should have been completed, the judge said individuals who are charged with a committal offence should be served on the first court hearing.

She also advised Ffrench's attorney, Stephen Shaw, whom she had asked if he wished to make a bail application, that there are laws to challenge the proceedings.

However, Shaw said he was awaiting all the statements.

Noting that the rules should be followed despite the allegations against Ffrench, who was deemed fit to plea following a psychiatric evaluation report that was presented to the court yesterday. The judge said she has been languishing in custody.

Detective Constable Morvin Ellis told the court that the police had made several attempts to collect the statements; however, they were told that the individuals from whom the statements were to be collected had medical appointments.


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