Thursday 1 October, 2020

Comissiong wants court case against mother discontinued

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Social activist and attorney, David Comissiong is calling on the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Donna Babb, to bring the 'heartless criminal proceedings' brought against Felisha Holder to a halt.  

Holder was earlier this month charged with causing the death of her 11 year old son, Abijah Holder-Phillips by dangerous driving, in a vehicular accident which occurred outside of the entrance to the Villages at Coverley, Christ Church. The charge has been brought three years after the tragic incident.  

The attorney at law referenced an article printed in the local Nation Newspaper under the headline 'Long-time concerns about Coverley junction design', which highlighted three official documents from the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) to show proof that "the manner in which Mr Mark Maloney's company had designed and constructed the entrance (unto the ABC Highway) of The Villages housing project at Coverley in Christ Church was inappropriate, deficient, and challenging or dangerous for motorists". 

1) A Ministry of Transport and Works  file No 32211 Vol 4 (a file that pre-dated 2012-03-07) in which it was recorded at Minute 161 that "the entrance is not well designed, and it utilizes the hard shoulder which as designed creates a challenge for motorists" ; 

(2) A Memorandum dated 7th March 2012 from Frank Thornhill, the then Chief Technical Officer of MTW to the Chief Town Planner of Barbados, in which  Thornhill not only apprises the Chief Town Planner of the above-mentioned negative assessment of the design, but also goes on to reassert that the design "encroaches on the road shoulder"; and 

(3) A July 2015 letter of Mrs. Cheryl Bennett-Inniss, written in her capacity as the then Deputy Chief Technical Officer of MTW, to the Permanent Secretary of MTW, refuting Mark Maloney's untruthful claim that it was the MTW that had designed the controversial junction, and also making the point that the design of the junction was "deficient". 

In light of this information, Comissiong noted, 

"Indeed, it would appear that Holder and her precious eleven year old child, Abijah, were victims of a deficient and dangerous stretch of roadway." 

Comissiong urged the DPP to utilize Section 79 (2) (c) of Barbados' Constitution which states "the Director of Public Prosecutions shall … have power in any case in which he considers it desirable so to … to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or any other person or authority." 

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