Magistrate: ‘Matter Should Not Be In Court’

June 22, 2011

In Magistrates Court yesterday morning [June 21] a 64-year-old Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute [MAWI] outpatient pleaded guilty to theft.

Magistrate Archie Warner questioned her and her lawyer to assure himself that the defendant did actually understand the charge. Having asked the defendant if she understood the charge, and after assuring himself that she did, the Magistrate allowed the case to proceed.

The summary of the Prosecution case and the defendants explanation was that the two women involved were both MAWI outpatients, both employed on small tasks at MAWI, with each assigned a workstation.

One woman’s purse had been taken, and some of its contents had been pilfered. CCTV cameras had caught the defendant handling the purse; however the defendant’s explanation was that she had been asked – by the complainant – to hold her purse for her, for safe-keeping.

The Crown did not dispute this. The defendant readily admitted to handling the purse but denied removing the contents. The Crown appeared to provide no evidence that she had actually removed the contents, or had them in her possession.

Having heard all submissions, Chief Magistrate Archie Warner said that he had, at a previous Plea hearing, asked if the matter could not be resolved in a different way.

Saying: “From all I’ve heard, this matter should not be before this Court. We have so much else to do,”  the Chief Magistrate pointed out that the DPP’s Office had discretion to put or not put a matter. But he had no discretion to allow or disallow a prosecution.

The Chief Magistrate ruled that the defendant would be given a Conditional Discharge and that she should continue any social programs now being undertaken at, and organized by, MAWI.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Polly says:

    It the Senior Magistrate, not “Chief”.

  2. FYI-Just A Thought says:

    I’ve decided to weigh in on this particular article from a completely different perspective although my comments are only a reflection of a much bigger problem that continues to exist within the Devon Spring community. As a resident of this area and living only a stone’s throw away (clearly apparent and imho) what I find to be be beyond frustrating is that, this is not the first incident involving outpatients’ and occurrences of crime within the area. Far, few and in between actually make the news. A year ago the Bermuda Sun conducted an investigative report and published an article exposing the inefficiencies of the organization, to which a statement was offered but no REAL solutions or further recommendations have been carried out with members of MAWI and the neighboring community to ensure preventive safety measures are in place. Crimes of breaking and entering in this area are almost becoming a daily occurrence. And I’m not wholly implying that all crime stems from patients. What blows me away AND I have yet to understand is why aren’t members of the executive of MAWI or its medical practitioners held accountable for patients’ actions and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. When crimes are committed by this sector/group of individuals (whether IN or OUT) these patients are still under psychiatric care!!!

    Last year a young girl’s innocence was completely desecrated by an OUTPATIENT receiving treatment and yet there has been no reprimand/fines/sanctions/charges against the HOSPITAL for negligence other than deflecting the responsibility and labeling it as a “rare case”. It is highly presumptuous and reckless to assume that the public know who is suffering from what if these individuals are not labeled or walking around with their conditions pasted to their forehead. This is a bit more complex than issuing some special medical bracelet as an identification measure ESPECIALLY if he or she commits a crime within close proximity of the hospital!

    Here’s an example everyday without fail, I am welcomed by an outpatient (whom I knew before being admitted as a patient). He spends more time lingering around the neighborhoods, asking for change, a cigarette or something. Although I personally do not feel threatened by this individual, it does cause a bit of concern for others and begs one to question or perhaps even consider what will trigger a negative reaction in this individual’s mind that could possibly lead to harming someone, him/herself or even committing a crime. Search=1&ArticleID=51117&SectionID=24&SubSectionID=902&S=1

    Side Bar: So, I assume that if one these individuals committed a breaking and entering and a homeowner decided to take matters into their own home, the victim’s response is to plead insanity!!!