Witness in causing death case remanded for changing statement
A witness who decided to switch his evidence in court yesterday in a causing death matter will spend the next five days in prison having been deemed a refractory witness.
Twenty-four year-old Roshan Butters was remanded to prison until next Monday (July 16) by Magistrate Leslie Sobers.
While Butters was being led in his evidence by Police Prosecutor Shellon Daniels, he began diverting from his original statement. This was indicated to the court at which point the Magistrate enquired from Butters if he was briefed. To this he replied in the positive and was cautioned to stick to his original statement. Even after this warning, Butters continued to divert from his original statement and was twice cautioned.
At this point the Prosecutor interjected and asked that the court deem Butters a refractory witness in accordance with Section 21 of the Summary Jurisdiction Procedure Act Chapter 1002. The Magistrate granted the Prosecution’s request.
The act states that if a person comes to court and refuses to give evidence or that person says something different from his or her original statement, the court can remand that person to prison for a period of eight days maximum.
However if the person changes his or her mind before the court is adjourned for the day that matter can be called again.
Butters was giving evidence in a causing death matter involving the defendant, Cliff Johnson.
Johnson has been charged with causing the death of Jack Singh who was killed on June 10th 2010. Butters on the other hand was charged with dangerous driving in the same incident.