Wed | Jul 28, 2021

Roberts’ lawyer seeking intervention of DPP

Published:Friday | June 25, 2021 | 12:13 AMTanesha Mundle/Gleaner Writer
Patrick Roberts
Patrick Roberts

Defence lawyer for well-known producer, businessman, and councillor Patrick Roberts is questioning the legitimacy of fraud charges that were brought against his client and plans to write to the director of public prosecutions (DPP) to review the file.

Roberts and his co-accused, 28-year-old labourer Ramone Edwards, were arrested and charged following allegations that they had witnessed a signature being forged on a will.

Roberts, the People’s National Party’s local government representative in the Molynes Gardens division and the chief executive officer at Shocking Vibes Production, is charged with forgery, uttering forged documents, and conspiracy to defraud, while Edwards is facing a conspiracy to defraud charge.

Yesterday when they appeared in court, Roberts’ attorney, Peter Champagnie, QC, informed Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montaque that the defence attorneys would be seeking the DPP’s intervention to have the file reviewed.

Champagnie explained that his client was charged based on a report that was provided by the police’s handwriting expert.

He further told the court that the police had requested a handwriting specimen from his client at the end of the question-and-answer session and that Roberts had willingly complied.

But Champagnie told the court yesterday that “this may be a matter that could benefit from the sight of the DPP”.

According to the attorney, he wants the DPP to examine the file and make a determination as to whether the men have a case to answer.

Champagnie made the disclosure while objecting to a request from the prosecution for conditions to be attached to the $300,000 station bail that was granted to his client.

NOT A FLIGHT RISK

The attorney argued that there was no need for bail conditions and that his client had known about the matter months before he was charged and had made himself available to the police. He pointed out, therefore, that his actions so far have demonstrated that he is not a flight risk.

Edwards’ attorney, Patrick Peterkin, raised similar arguments, but the judge was not in agreement and ordered that both men surrender their travel documents and not have any form of contact with the witnesses in the case.

Edwards, who is on $100,000 station bail, was also instructed to report to the Duhaney Park Police Station on Wednesdays.

Bail for both men was then extended. Both are scheduled to return to court on September 28.

The accused were arrested and charged after the complainant made a report last July that her father’s signature had been forged on a testament dated April 19, 2019.

The matter was investigated and according to the police, it was discovered that Roberts, who is the executor of the will, had witnessed the alleged forgery along with Edwards.

tanesha.mundle@gleanerjm.com