A Supreme Court judge ordered the immediate release of a murder accused who police claimed had violated his bail conditions.
Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson questioned why police had picked up 24-year-old Ahmad Clarke, although she had not issued a warrant for his arrest.
In recent weeks, police have arrested multiple defendants, whose movements have been tracked by GPS-enabled ankle bracelets, for alleged breaches of their bail conditions.
Clarke was arrested after staff at Metro Security Solutions, the company tasked with tracking suspects on bail, claimed he had let the battery on his ankle monitor go dead.
Unlike many others, Clarke was not charged because of the judge’s intervention.
Grant-Thompson said, “He was arrested for a breach of my [bail] order. I made no order for his arrest. I do not find him to be in breach of my order and he is to be released immediately.”
Giving a history of Clarke’s case, his lawyer, Donna Dorsett-Major told The Nassau Guardian that he applied for a variation of the terms of his release.
After the judge granted Clarke permission to change his address, Dorsett-Major said police accused him of habitually breaching his bail conditions.
However, Dorsett-Major said Clarke had sworn an affidavit explaining that in the instances when his battery went dead, the power was out.
Grant-Thompson found his explanation reasonable and ruled that he had not violated the terms of his release.
In 2018, then Acting Chief Justice Stephen Isaacs criticized the 2016 amendment to the Bail Act that criminalized violating bail conditions, saying that it created “double jeopardy”.
Isaacs urged that the legislation be revisited since it was possible for someone to be imprisoned for violating bail for a charge for which they were later acquitted.