Man who spent nine years on remand without trial sues State for minimum $3M
Jones Raymond , the 58-year-old man who was recently freed after spending the last nine years on remand for murder, has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the State, detailing the inhumane conditions he faced, including being assaulted by other prisoners and being shot with pellets by prison guards trying to quell a riot.
Raymond’s application was filed by attorney-at-law Timothy Jonas.
On July 15, 2022, Raymond was freed after High Court judge Sandil Kissoon found that his constitutional right to a free trial within a reasonable time was breached by the State.
He was accused of fatally stabbing Gary Joseph with an arrow on December 26, 2012, at Micobie. He was later charged and committed to stand trial in 2014 following a preliminary inquiry (PI) before Magistrate Allen Wilson.
He has admitted to killing a man with an arrow after his son was attacked but said he acted in self-defense.
In 2015, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Shalimar Ali-Hack received the depositions for Raymond’s case and remitted the matter back to the Magistrate to do further work; but nothing was ever done.
Raymond is seeking a declaration that his arrest and detention for a period of nine years without trial was unreasonable and violated his constitutional right to personal liberty.
He is seeking in excess of $1M compensation for the breach of his constitutional right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time.
Raymond is also seeking in excess of $1M compensation for the “inhumane and degrading” treatment he suffered while behind bars for the last nine years.
Lastly, he is seeking in excess of $1M for the breach of his constitutional right from the protection of inhumane treatment.
The claimant is contending that from December 28 2012 to July 15, 2022, he was held at the Camp Street Prison save and except from around July 2017 to March 2018 when he was kept at the Lusignan Prison.
While an inmate at Camp Street Prison for more than eight years, Raymond was kept in a crowded cell measuring approximately 15 feet × 20 feet, with at least 17 other inmates.
The said cell contained two toilets, of which often only one was functional and one bathroom to be shared by the said inmates therein. The said toilet was often clogged and reeked of an unbearable stench.
In his grounds for the application, Raymond said the cell was “hot, filthy, and smelled deplorable”.
As a result of overcrowding, he said, there were insufficient cots and he often slept on the floor.
Almost every other day, there was no running water in the cells, which meant that Raymond and other inmates were often unable to bathe and take care of their hygiene.
He disclosed that in January 2013, his foot was set on fire on five different occasions by unknown inmates.
He added that his chest was also set on fire. The claimant was not protected from these atrocities by Prison Guards or otherwise.
On several occasions, Raymond said he was assaulted by other inmates while using the toilet and bathroom facilities.
The claimant said that due to the Camp Street Prison fire on July 2017, he and other inmates were immediately relocated to the Lusignan Prison, where the condition was more deplorable.
The claimant and other inmates were kept in an open pasture with no shelter, running water, and other facilities for the first seven days of his stay at Lusignan.
“During that period, it rained on about three separate occasions. The said field was muddy, swampy, flooded when it rained and inundated with snakes and frogs,” Raymond said in his court documents.
However, there was a riot at the Lusignan Prison, in which Raymond said he was shot with pellets on five occasions by Police Officers brought in to quell the said riot.
The said five pellets were never removed from the Claimant’s body and are still lodged therein.
Raymond is contending that he is traumatised as a result of the aforesaid conditions in which he was kept in prison.
Editors note: The headline for this story originally stated Mr Raymond was seeking $3 million from the State. However, he is seeking “in excess” of $1 million on each of his three claims. So, $3 million is the minimum he is seeking from the State. This story has been updated to reflect the accuracy of Mr Raymond’s claims.