Judge issues warning as explosion trial is adjourned

| 01/06/2012

explo.jpg(CNS): The trial of Lita Chollette Davis (50) for arson and GBH in connection with a West Bay house explosion last year has been postponed until January 2013. The application to adjourn the trial Thursday brought a warning from the judge who told the lawyers involved that in future he would not vacate trials over issues that he considered peripheral once a date was set. The defence had sought to move the July trial because of issues regarding an expert witness but on examination of the facts Justice Alex Henderson said he did not consider the issues important enough to cancel the trial. However, another trial which had been postponed on several occasions was earmarked to take the slot which swayed the judge.

Granting the postponement of the Davis trial he told lawyers that once a trial date is set the proceedings should not be cancelled or postponed without very good reason.
“In general too many adjournments are being requested for obtaining experts and bits of evidence when it may be peripheral,” the judge noted. “It is important that once a trial is fixed it should only be interfered with if the issues go right to the heart of the case.”

Justice Henderson has on a number of occasions raised the issue in his courtroom of the length of time justice is taking to be served because of constant adjournments. He has pointed out that once the Bill of rights takes effect in the jurisdiction in November of this year, the length of time it takes for cases to be concluded will be of even greater significance.

Davis’ trial was set for four days starting on 21 January when she will face charges of arson, damage to property and grievous bodily harm. The crown contends that Davis deliberately threw a gas canister into a property in Fig Close, West Bay, in the early hours of the morning while her boyfriend was inside the house. The house exploded as police arrived on the scene injuring the man who was taken to hospital and treated for serious burns. The house was almost completely destroyed and the police vehicle was also damaged in the explosion.


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