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Taxi driver in Coudray-Greaves murder to appear today
Jamaican taxi driver Ivan Taylor is expected to make his first appearance before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate’s Court this morning charged with the abduction and murder of Trinidadian schoolteacher Michelle Coudray-Greaves. The accused was expected to appear in court yesterday but according to Gleaner Editor Adrian Frater, the matter stalled because the case file was not ready. This, in spite of an assurance from Sgt Peter Salkey of the Constabulary Communication Network that investigators were working around the clock to get the files ready for yesterday’s sitting . Taylor, 46, of Lindos Hill, Withorn in Westmoreland, was charged last Saturday with killing of the daughter of former San Fernando mayor Marlene Coudray, now Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development.
Coudray-Greaves, 39, a mother of three of Ste Madeleine, who taught Spanish at Cornwall College in Montego Bay, was last seen alive on June 2. She was reported missing on June 8 and three days later, on June 11, her badly burnt body was discovered in a canefield in St James. Dental records provided by her mother and DNA testing were used to identify the remains. An autopsy confirmed death was due to a blow to her head with a blunt object.
Frater explained that although murder in Jamaica was a capital offence, a person accused of murder could still be granted bail. “Once they meet conditions stipulated by the court, for example, give up their travel documents, be put under curfew, meaning not to be seen on the streets between certain hours, not leave the parish where they live, and stay in a particular address, they could get bail,” he explained. In Trinidad and Tobago, murder is not a bailable offence and also carries the death penalty.
Frater also explained that under Jamaican law, the photograph of a person accused of murder cannot be published in the media, unless the person’s photo is already in the public domain or if the person is found guilty. “If we publish the photograph and the person is found not guilty, the person could bring charges for injuring his/her reputation,” Frater said. A Jamaican constitutional attorney, who wished to remain anonymous, said the country adhered to the Westminster system, just as T&T, but there was no prohibition against the granting of bail. “It is not normal in Jamaica for a person charged with murder or serious offences to get bail,” the attorney said.
However, he explained the circumstances which this could be granted: “If in fact, the case against the person is weak and has been to court on several occasions, or if the Crown is not able to put its case properly, it is at the discretion of the judge whether or not to grant bail. “In fact, we have a Bail Act which provides for all accused persons to be eligible for bail. The burden is on the Crown to show why the person should not get bail. “However, if the case against the accused person is grave and serious, that person is not likely to get bail,” the attorney stated. Coudray, in an earlier interview, said charges against Taylor had brought a small measure of closure, but there were still nagging questions as to why her daughter was killed. “I am taking it in stages. The loss of a child is worse than anyone could imagine. I will not get full closure until certain questions are answered,” she said.
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