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Delays hamper start of sex offence trial

Guyanese national, Oliver Lewis, 34, will return to the Magistrate's Court on February 11, 2014 for the start of his trial. He was charged with eight counts of indecency with a child below the age of 14 years. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – IT Specialist, Mr. Oliver Lewis, 34, will return to the Magistrate’s Court next month for the start of his trial after delays forced an adjournment today, January 10, 2014.

Lewis, a resident of Lambert Estate, was charged with eight counts of indecency with a child below the age of 14 years when he first appeared before the Magistrate’s Court on June 21, 2013. The Guyanese national allegedly committed the offences in April 2013. 

The charges were re-read to him and Lewis re-entered his pleas of not guilty to each charge. He is represented by attorney Stephen Daniels. 

Crown Counsel Leslie Ann Faulkner announced that the prosecution was ready to proceed and had several witnesses, including the Virtual Complainant (VC), family members and Police officers present to be called to given evidence in the trial. 

However, Daniels told the court that the defence was not ready to proceed as some documents were disclosed as recently as yesterday on the defence. He revealed that the documents were photographs related to the trial in addition to a witness statement. 

He asked that the court set an adjournment date or alternatively, take the VC’s evidence before having the VC return at another date to be cross-examined. 

Faulkner countered that other documents were previously disclosed much earlier and felt there was no reason that the trial could not proceed once the VC’s evidence was taken today. Faulkner said she could not offer a reason for the delay in receiving the documents as they were only given to her on the same day as well. 

Magistrate Dr. Velon John expressed that photographic evidence was important and also very crucial to a trial therefore an adjournment date would have to be sought. 

The matter was then set for February 11, 2014. 

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