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Soldier pleads not guilty before court martial is adjourned


Soldier pleads not guilty before court martial is adjourned
Private Raheem Reeves (right) being escorted in to the court martial. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

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A Barbados Defence Force (BDF) soldier, who is charged with neglect to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, contrary to Section 75 of the Defence Act, Cap. 159, pleaded not guilty on Friday at a court martial.

Private Raheem Reeves is charged with neglecting to carry out his duty as a shore police, when ordinary seaman S. Collymore admitted to him that he was involved in a serious incident at HMBS Pelican on August 25 last year.

Reeves is further charged on the same day with failing to inform his superiors that Collymore asked him to contact his parents.

On the first day of the court martial in the Hodgson Hall Conference Centre of the BDF’s headquarters at St. Ann’s Fort, defence counsel Michael Lashley, QC, requested and received an adjournment of the matter for his team to become familiar with the case as he had only been retained yesterday.

Lashley’s team also comprises Simon Clarke and Sade Harris.

Prosecutor, Captain Neville Corbin said, however, Reeves had ample time to bring his legal team up to scratch, as he had been served on Tuesday, and he had been given the required 24-hour notice of the proceedings.

Judge Advocate, Principal Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney said she had no issue with Lashley’s request for an adjournment.

President of the panel, Major Alfred Taylor accepted the advice of the Judge Advocate, and the matter was adjourned until Monday at 9 a.m.

Other members of the panel hearing the matter include Captain Michael Jules and Captain Patrice Cummins, while waiting members are Captain Michelle Thompson and Lieutenant Coast Guard Nakeida Gibson.