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Appeal Court has bail say

Heather-Lynn Evanson

Appeal Court has bail say

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A landmark decision by the Court of Appeal could open the floodgates for several accused who have had their bail applications turned down by a High Court.

On Thursday, murder accused Pedro Deroy Ellis and his attorney Queen’s Counsel Larry Smith scored a victory when president of the Court of Appeal, Andrew Burgess, held that the appellate court did have jurisdiction to hear an appeal stemming from a bail application and then set aside the High Court judge’s decision to deny Ellis bail.

However, Justice of Appeal Burgess, who presided with Justices of Appeal Kaye Goodridge and Margaret Reifer, refused to release the accused.

The court said the strength of the evidence that [Ellis] had committed the killing; that he had admitted to it, albeit claiming it was done in self-defence and the fact that he had a previous conviction for manslaughter “weighed very heavily in favour of refusing bail to [Ellis].

“It must be that the public has every right to expect to be protected from persons who repeat offences involving the taking of human life. (HLE) 

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