Saturday 15 June, 2019

Case dismissed after 'victim' fails to identify accused cop in court

A policeman from the Motorised Patrol Division (MPD), who was charged with breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act two years ago after he was accused of soliciting $7,000 from a motorist, has been freed in court.

Constable Chantel Stephenson had the charges against him dropped when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday.

The prosecution's case collapsed dramatically during the trial when the complainant was unable to identify the policeman who had allegedly collected the sum of money from him.

The lawman's attorney then urged presiding Senior Parish Judge, Chester Crooks, to dismiss the case against his client.

The judge agreed and freed Stephenson.

The Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), in a report last year, alleged that Constable Stephenson and another policeman were on duty along the Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway in Kingston on Tuesday May 2, 2017, when they signalled the complainant to stop his motor vehicle.

The motorist complied, exited the vehicle and the vehicle documents were handed over to Stephenson, who observed that the registration of fitness had expired, according to MOCA.

It was said that Constable Stephenson proceeded to tell the complainant that he would be arrested and charged, and the vehicle would be seized.

The complainant reportedly pleaded with the constable for leniency, and it was at that time, according to MOCA's press release, that Stephenson allegedly solicited $20,000, but later accepted $7,000.

A report was subsequently made to MOCA, and a file was prepared and submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), from which a ruling was made that Stephenson should be charged with breaches of the Corruption Prevention Act 2000.

The accused man was arrested and charged on Monday, June 11, 2018.

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