Cops accused of assaulting two people in St. Ann police lock-up freed

By Racquel Porter 
Two policemen who were charged in 2021 for allegedly assaulting two people who were in custody at the St. Ann's Bay Police Station were freed on Thursday.
Constables Jermaine Holmes and Gary Barrett were charged following a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions after reports were made to the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) that on February 14, 2016, they along with other officers assaulted two people who were in lock-up.
It was alleged that Constable Holmes and Constable Barrett ordered the men out of a cell and beat them with batons.
The men were reportedly taken to St. Ann's Bay Hospital where they received treatment.
The police officers also allegedly received injuries during the altercation.
But on November 15, 2022, the Crown offered no evidence against the cops in relation to one of the complainants.
The Clerk of Court sought to make an application for one of the complainants to give evidence by way of video link, but this application was vehemently objected by attorney-at-law Courtney Rowe, who represented Mr. Holmes and Mr. Barrett.
They were also represented by John Jacobs.
The judge dismissed the application, however, some charges remained.
The court was told that the complainant for the remaining charge had died of injuries unrelated to the matter before the court.
The Crown sought to tender the statement of the now deceased complainant into evidence by virtue of section 31 of the Evidence Act but this was again objected to by Mr. Rowe.
Statements were collected in an effort to conduct a voir dire but the witnesses did not attend court for cross-examination.
The prosecution admitted in court Thursday that it was not in a position to successfully mount its case against the officers.

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