Friday 6 December, 2019

BDF Court martial: Accused Coast Guard Captain dismissed!

Eighteen years as Coast Guard Captain came to an end for David Harewood as he was found guilty and dismissed from the Barbados Defence Force.

The lieutenant, however, is expected to challenge the decision by way of appeal.

Harewood was accused of failing to inform his superiors of a threat to a fellow officer – OS Marlon Scott and conducting unauthorized information gathering operations; conduct unbecoming of a commissioned officer in the BDF.

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The CARICOM panel of six members handed down the verdict this evening, Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

As the Judge Advocate summed up, he said there was one statement that formed the basis of the prosecution’s case – the statement suggested that a soldier had gone rogue and there was a possible threat to his life.

Harewood said he and another officer allegedly met with a person in Baxter’s Road. That person claimed that he gave Ordinary Seaman Marlon Scott $20 000 and that the person said “nothing worked and he was going to **** him up but he will let it die there.”

The prosecution argued that the statement did indeed constitute a threat to a soldier’s life and should have been reported while the defence argued there was no threat and that Harewood had discretion on how to treat such information.

During the plea of mitigation, Defence Counsel Vincent Watson said Harewood’s record shows 17 years of exemplary service and there was no evidence of bad character.

He asked the court to be lenient as it was his client’s first offence. Watson then suggested a demotion of rank or a dock of pay, instead of the two-year imprisonment sentence which the offences carried.

However, after considering the mitigating and aggravating factors, the military’s requirement for maintaining discipline; the panel dismissed Harewood from the BDF.

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