The trial of a woman charged with reckless and negligent acts did not go ahead as planned on Tuesday because neither a complainant nor an interpreter was present after the matter was adjourned from last December.
Zunilda Baldovino previously pleaded not guilty to supplying or administering “medicine or poison or dangerous matter” in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life or safety. The acts alleged, said to be injections, occurred while the defendant was working in a beauty salon in November and December 2016. She was charged in 2017 and her trial began in August 2018.
It continued on different dates until November, when the second of two complainants began her evidence. The matter was then adjourned until Dec. 6, but neither defense attorney Jonathon Hughes nor Crown counsel Darlene Oko was available on that date.
Magistrate Philippa McFarlane then adjourned the matter to the next available dates, which were March 5 and 7.
On Tuesday, March 5, Ms. Oko told the magistrate that the woman who had been giving evidence had been obliged to travel to Colombia, but was willing to continue her testimony via video link. That arrangement would require testing by technicians on Tuesday afternoon, she told the court, with the case proceeding on Thursday, March 7 because of the Ash Wednesday public holiday.
The magistrate indicated that she was satisfied Ms. Baldovino would not be prejudiced by this arrangement if there were no difficulties in seeing or hearing the witness.
Another prosecution witness, an immigration officer, was available but there was no interpreter. Ms. Baldovino’s native language is Spanish and she has been assisted throughout proceedings by an interpreter.
The magistrate expressed her unhappiness with the situation. Someone had “dropped that particular ball” and no interpreter could be found, she said. Because of that “administrative error,” not much progress could be made, she indicated.
The availability of another Crown witness was discussed before court adjourned until March 7.