Death of Convicted Rapist Kurt “Shabba” James impetus for Bail Act
An advocate for women and child rights says the death of Kurt “Shabba” James should serve as a reminder that people wait too long to have matters heard in court and there is need for a Bail Act.
James who was convicted for rape on different occasions was wanted in Dominica after he failed to show up in court on charges of alleged sexual misconduct.
Tina Alexander of the NGO Coalition for the Protection of Children says however she is pleased that the wait by several women to have their day in court is over.
“I join with the victims who are really delighted to hear that they haven’t got to go to court now…they’ve been waiting for five years to go to court to testify against shabba for what he did to them and now the wait is over. I think that it really reminds us that people are waiting far too long to have their matters heard in court. I myself was in court waiting for shabba when he was given a week because he submitted some sort of sick note. Really if he had not been on bail in the first place that would not have happened and I really think that we need to examine the whole issue of giving people bail when they these very dangerous and difficult crimes.
“That is why we are encouraging the ministry of justice to consider the bail act and introduce an inevitable refusal of bail for rapists within the first instance. Obviously there will be some situations where it can be allowed but what’s important is that in the first instance people know that if they’re accused of these crimes they will not be allowed to go free and commit them again. Both here at home in Dominica and abroad I have to say that we have to put a stop to allowing people to be out on bail and also to this very very long wait for justice,” she said.
According to Vivian Michael of Observer radio in Antigua, “Dominican Kurt “Shabba” James who was wanted by police in Dominica was shot and killed in a police operation in Antigua on Sunday 03rd January, 2016.
James who has served time in the past for various offences including burglary was shot while police attempted to arrest him at an apartment in Antigua.”