When is Daddy coming home?
Devieann Francois, Melina Charles and Sybil Israel say they have been unable to answer this question for the last nine years. They are relatives of a group of men, now known as the Marcia 53, whose partly heard cases were before former Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar and now have to be restarted. The men have spent close to a decade in Remand Yard.
Francois, whose husband is among the accused, said: “He’s been very miserable and it’s stressful. He doesn’t know where the case is presently.”
In an interview on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday, Francois said her husband had reached to point where he expressed suicidal thoughts. She said the experience has also been trying for the family.
She said her son has only ever met his father through prison visits.
“Every time I go to court he is expecting that his father (will) be back,” she said.
Melina Charles said her granddaughter, who was three when her father was charged with murder, is now a pre-teen and visibly shows her frustration that her father is not free.
“She is frustrated and she keeps asking who lie on my father,” she said
Charles, expressing her own frustration that the process has gone this distance, added: “They told me in the first nine months he should be out. This is nine years.”
Charles and Francois said that Ayers-Caesar regularly got frustrated when prosecutors failed to find witnesses for the case and had attempted to expedite the cases before her appointment as a High Court justice.
“Each time she kept requesting of the prosecutor to do something because she wanted to bring these cases to an end,” said Charles.
She appealed to anyone in authority to make an intervention.
“It is really hard for someone to go through this because of no fault of their own to be languishing in prison. No mother wants to hear their child say he’s about to give up,” she said.
Sybil Israel said over the last nine years she has mainly been working to pay her son’s lawyer and there is no end in sight.
“(At the start) The lawyer charge us about $15,000 and he says the matter will finish in a certain time and as it goes along he ask me for more. Right now I’m owing the lawyer,” she said.
- by Peter Christopher