-Father tells cop charged with killing son
February 15, 2004
Robert Beresford, the ex-policeman awaiting trial for killing Jermaine Wilkin-son, should show himself to dispel reports he has fled the country, the father of the victim says.
"I certainly want him to show himself," says Clive Thompson who remembers his only son as someone who was always scared of the police.
Late last year reports surfaced that Beresford had migrated to North America, although he is still on bail pending the start of the trial for the 1996 manslaughter.
Then a constable attached to the Police Impact Patrol, Beresford is alleged to have fatally shot Wilkinson, who died of gunshot wounds in hospital. While he was charged with manslaughter, based on the evidence that was led, he was committed to stand trial for murder at the end of the Preliminary Inquiry into the indictment.
But the committal order was quashed by a High Court Judge who placed the policeman on $150,000 bail and ordered that he relinquish all of his travel documents pending the start of the trial.
The police have officially stated that Beresford was blacklisted and a check of the immigration records has revealed that he has not left the country.
However, attempts by Stabroek News to contact Beresford at his last known address have been in vain. Thompson, along with others, believes the accused should present himself to reassure the public that he is still in the country.
"I feel wronged," he says while remembering his son as a shy young man, always afraid of the police, although he had no brushes with the law. He says Jermaine was never one to get involved in brawls in the Albouystown community.
The father says his son, who grew up under his grandmother's guidance, would always leave whenever police turned up at any scene.
"He was my only son among three daughters. I lost that one. It was really heartrending when his life was taken like that. It was so brutal, there was no chance. And there is still no justice."
There is no justice after nearly eight years because the original depositions from the inquiry, including trial statements, cannot be located, causing the trial to be postponed.
According to the records of the Georgetown Magis-trates' Court registry, the original depositions were sent to the Supreme Court
on September 19 1996. Duplicates of the depositions were returned to the registry on February 13 of the next year. It is procedure for the trial statements to be typed from the original depositions and then forwarded to the Supreme Court and the Director of Public Prosecu-tions(DPP).
Because the original depositions have not been located, the evidence from the Preliminary Inquiry has still not been seen by the DPP, which would lead the state's case in the trial.
Chancellor Desiree Ber-nard has asked for an explanation from the Supreme Court Registry, which is now trying to locate the depositions. The Registry says that no progress has been made, although the search is still continuing.
Thompson still hopes that the case will be given some priority, although he thinks that it has already taken too long.
"I am feeling annoyed about the whole situation," he says, "there is no justice."