Case tampering allegations

Two women appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday, 2 December for a preliminary inquiry on charges of attempting to pervert the course of public justice and defeating the course of justice in the Omar Samuels murder trial.

Ave Watler, who is currently on bail for the alleged offence of attempting to pervert the course of public justice, was ordered to come back to court on 14 December for a long form preliminary inquiry.

Taya Ramoon-Truman, who has been remanded in custody, is charged with doing an act attempting to pervert the course of public justice and defeating the course of justice.

Representatives for the Crown say they may charge the women jointly, however currently they appear separately in the courtroom dock.

In Wednesday’s proceedings, Defence Attorney Lloyd Samson said he was concerned that his client was not receiving fair treatment.

He said the date of the preliminary inquiry had been known for over two months and told Magistrate Nova Hall that he had not received a preliminary inquiry bundle in relation to the case.

He argued that Ramoon-Truman has been kept in custody, while Watler is allowed to freely come and go, when the women have similar charges and whatever perceived threat was keeping his client behind bars had not been a factor in determining Watler’s freedom.

He said Ramoon-Truman had lost her job which she has had for years, and a piece of land the defendant has been paying on for more 10 years has now fallen into default.

The attorney added that he had attended a meeting with Crown Counsel Nicole Petit and was still not furnished with a ‘PI bundle.’

In her remarks, Ms Petit disputed Mr. Samson’s assertion that he had not received a bundle but said because of the lacks relationship her office had with the attorney there was no formal record.

She added that, that easy going rapport had not served the Crown well during Wednesday’s proceedings and provided Mr. Samson with a preliminary inquiry bundle during the court session.

Ms Petit said Chief Justice Anthony Smellie had also refused Ramoon-Truman bail and that circumstances had not changed.

Mr. Samson said he felt the fact that the preliminary inquiry date had been known two months in advance and there were no witnesses in court and cited these as changes in circumstances.

In making her ruling, Magistrate Nova Hall said she considered Mr. Samson’s argument to be a compelling one but given the nature and seriousness of the charges and the likelihood of further interference, she was not minded to offer the defendant bail.

She remanded Ramoon-Truman in custody until 14 December, when she will reappear for a preliminary inquiry into the charges.

Taya Ramoon-Truman is the mother of Osbourne Wilfred Douglas, who is charged along with Brandon Mykkle Leslie and Patrick Elbert McField in the 5 July shooting death of Omar Samuels.