SUPREME Court Judge Justice Vinette Graham-Allen has ordered that the police ensure that the man accused of killing 20-year-old accounting clerk Khanice Jackson gets medical attention before his next court date.
The judge's order follows "multiple complaints" about health challenges being experienced by the accused Robert Fowler, a Catherine-based auto mechanic
"I beg you, please Sir, notwithstanding, he is a Jamaican human being who needs to see a doctor. I will want you to come back and tell the court what has been done," Judge Graham-Allen told the custody officer in whose precinct Fowler was being held on Wednesday morning, just before adjourning the matter to January 23, 2023 at 10:00 am.
The matter involving Fowler, who appeared via Zoom in the Home Circuit Court, has been stood down on several occasions for different reasons, including a need for him to get "urgent" medical attention for an undisclosed condition.
On Wednesday morning his attorney Lynden Wellesley told the judge that he had not been able to complete discussions with his client during his last visit but had gathered enough to indicate that the challenges being had by his client "were not dealt with sufficiently despite the last orders given by the court in that regard".
The attorney then intimated that the judge could ascertain the true conditions being faced by his client herself stating, "Mr Fowler, can tell you". The judge, in replying that this was not the protocol established by the court, stood the matter down for several minutes to allow the attorney to confer with his client and inform the court.
When the matter was recalled, Wellesley said his client told him he had been taken to the clinic at Greater Portmore in June this year after "complaining of a certain uneasiness".
The judge, however, pointed out to Wellesley that "there has been a history" of that particular complaint by the client which had led to a referral to a urologist at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) being made for him. She noted that while the court's records show that those tests were done, an ultrasound, the results of which were to be presented to the court, had not been done.
The matter was then stood down a second time on Wednesday to allow the custody officer for Fowler to explain the reasons he had not been taken for further tests at the KPH.
When the matter was recalled the custody officer in addressing the court said the appointment was not kept because a series of blood tests which were done for Fowler over a year ago would have to be redone.
He said the tests would be done as soon as "certain measures" were put in place. Asked to explain what this meant, he said a certain amount of police officers have to be in place for the day in question.
The judge then ordered that the tests should be done by the end of October this year.
"Please ensure this is done. The court has received multiple complaints about the situation of the accused. Please ensure that he is taken to have those tests done. The court has been told the accused is having severe discomfort," the judge said.
The case management hearing for Fowler is to continue in January at which time an update on his medical condition will be given.
Fowler remains in custody.
Jackson, a resident of Independence City in Portmore, St Catherine, went missing on March 24, 2021 after leaving home for work. Her body was found at the Causeway Fishing Village in St Catherine two days later. Shortly after Fowler, with whom the accountant was said to travel to work at times, was arrested and charged.