An inmate at HM Prisons sues the Commissioner of Police

An outside toilet at HMP

POINTE XPRESS: An inmate who is on remand at HM Prison has filed a case against the Commissioner of Police, claiming among other things that his constitutional rights have been breached and that he has been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

The inmate, who cannot be named because of the nature of the allegations against him, wants the case heard by today (Wednesday March 22, 2023) and has asked that the Commissioner present himself to the court for the hearing.

The former Superintendent of the Prison and the Attorney General have also been named in the suit.

The inmate was arrested last October and charged with the offense two days after he was first arrested. Applications were made twice on his behalf for bail and each time he was denied and recommitted to remand.

The grounds for the affidavit filed in the court are that the actions by the police violated the provisions of the Criminal Prosecutions Act of 2017.

“The Criminal Prosecutions Service Act No. 28 of 2017 Section 27(2) states; “Despite the provisions of any law enforced in Antigua and Barbuda, and subject to subsection (1), no public officer shall, after the commencement of this Act, institute any criminal proceedings or undertake the prosecution of any criminal case in any court, unless he is authorised so to do, in writing by the DPP,” and therefore, this is the Grounds for the Application filed at the High Court by the inmate’s attorney, Wendell Alexander, more commonly known as Wendell Robinson.

The application continued by stating that, at the time no authorisation was ever given by the DPP, prior to the charging and filing of the criminal complaint as outlined in Section 27(2) of The Criminal Prosecutions Service Act.

The operations of the said Act came into force since November 2021 by the Attorney General, by way of Statutory Instrument.

Therefore, according to the Affidavit, the charge against the Applicant is not properly before the Court, in effect making it null and void, since the Police no longer had power to institute criminal proceedings by virtue of Section 29 of the Criminal Prosecutions Service Act, with the replacing of section 31 of the Police Act Cap. 330 which had allowed for the bringing to court and prosecuting offenders.

Thus, it stated that the institution of the criminal charge which underpins the remand and what is before the court are unlawful, null and void.

The inmate is asking the court to set him free and to drop all charges that have been filed against him.

He noted that while in prison he has been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment including being placed in the maximum security wing of the prison, being forced to sleep on a wooden structure and having to eat out of a water bottle cut in two. He also complained of not being able to be with his two children.

The outcome of this case could have ramifications on the case against former parliamentarian, Dean Jonas.

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  1. All the inmates need to sue! The Scotland Yard rapist staying in a nice jail, while the others get “regular treatment.”


  2. I have no problem with the highlighting the poor conditions inside of the prison, but, it would be correct also, to highlight the criminal offence(s) of the complainant as well.

    Both sides of the issue is important.

    Is the complainant a murderer or rapist? Then they’ll get not an once of sympathy from me or the victims relatives.

    However, if the complainant has been locked up for debt, then they are right to complain … simple really!

  3. Remember, if you can’t do the TIME, don’t do the CRIME!

    Brixtonian again, sorting the chaff from the wheat …

    • innocent until proven guilty. being on remand isn’t the same as being convicted . so saying don’t do the crime etc is pure nonsense in this case.

  4. Brix, remember the complainant is accused of a crime. This is not the same as being a criminal. Due process must be followed and a person’s God-given rights should be respected

    • There are no proof that the offense has been committed by him or her. Right now it is alleged the offense has committed but has not been proven in a court of law. Police are still investigating the incident. Right now he or she is remanded and should be treated differently from the convicted prisoners.

  5. Antigua News Room: That photo above of the Out House make me want to puke.How could Humans be allowed to use that mess. Not even our four legged friends would want to use that thing. That is so inhumane.

  6. Once you are remanded, you’re not convicted yet so you should be treated differently from the convicted prisoners. He or she is right sued all the authorities involved. Slavery done long time.

  7. @Mae: Slavery as we did read about still exists in Antigua to this day. All of those who took money and crumbs to sell their Votes are still enslaved. The only differences the new Massas have our skin colors. Then the Chinese would be coming to take over and Colonized us.Heaven help us ALL.

  8. It doesn’t matter the offense all persons must be treated equally you are innocent until proven guilty and even if you are proven guilty their human rights a lot of innocent people are proven guilty and is sentenced to life imprisonment I am not condoling wrong so don’t misunderstand me but the life at the prison is not good and a lot of persons have been communicating arguing and lamenting about it even during the covid it’s spread like wildfire inside there because nothing was set up or organized properly they were being treated anyways let me leave it there. At one point during covid one of the inmate came down with the illness it’s so happened that one of the officer came down with the same thing but individuals were in the same Institution recovering from the illness and the way in which the officer look speak and treat the inmate I would not want to discuss it here they are being seen as a nobody and have been treated the same and that is unfair

  9. While certain acts violates the laws of the land, there is a process, and if that process by the law keepers violates the rights of the alleged accused then that initself might be subject to scrutiny and can be thrown out therefore allowing the accused to walk free. Everyone must act in accordance with the law. Therefore everyone is innocent until deemed guilty in a court of law. This is how guilty people get away (not saying this person is guilty). Rules are in place, laws are in place and no one is above them.

  10. Even if the charge is thrown out because it was filed by the wrong person, can’t it just immediately be refiled by the correct prosecution? The law should allow for that in cases where thr offense is very serious snd so the person is a possible threat to the community.

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