Barnes in danger, says lawyer

| 30/06/2011

(CNS): The father of Jeremiah Barnes, the four-year-old child shot and killed at a West Bay gas station last year is in fear for his and his family’s life, the Summary Court heard today. Thirty-one-year old Andy Barnes, who was arrested following an operation in North Side earlier this month, was charged by police with possession of an unlicensed firearm and appeared in court Thursday afternoon (30 June). His defence counsel, Nick Dixie, said he was in the odd position of deciding not to make a bail application because the police had made no provision to protect his client, despite the fact that the RCIPS had intelligence that Barnes was a target. Barnes is a key witness in the crown’s case against Devon Anglin for the murder of his son.

Dixie pointed out that Barnes needed to be in custody for his own protection but it was hardly a long term solution. He said that requests for protection for his client and his family, especially his wife, who is also a witness in the same murder case, had been made numerous times and the police were well aware the danger he was in and the various attempts that had been and were still being made on his life.

“It is the police themselves that have told Mr Barnes that they have credible intelligence that his life is in danger,” Dixie told the court. “I hope by the next appearance the crown is in a position to protect Mr Barnes and his family.”  The lawyer added that there was an argument that, given the circumstances, Barnes should be removed from the island.  Dixie told Magistrate Valdis Foldats that there was far more to the case before him than meets the eye but there was a certain inevitability about the outcome of the situation which was very frightening.

Barnes was arrested after police searched the house he was living at in North Side and found the loaded gun inside a cushion on the porch chair. The operation was reportedly carried out at the property as a result of intelligence given to the police. The crown said that following his arrest Barnes admitted having the illegal firearm because of the threats made against his life.

As Barnes was remanded in custody until 12 July, his lawyer asked if it could be to Eagle House rather than HMP Northward as Barnes was vulnerable in custody as well as outside.

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