Coroner’s Jury Rules Special Constable To Be Charged With Manslaughter
Wednesday, February 01, 2012, Kingston, Jamaica – The Jury in the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Trevor Anderson has ruled that Special Constable Dwayne Hoilette is to be charged with manslaughter. This verdict brings to a conclusion a Coroner’s Inquest which has lasted more than three and a half years and begins the next chapter in the search for justice for the death of Trevor in March 2007.
Trevor Anderson was shot under very controversial circumstances in March 2007. Eyewitnesses and family have always maintained that Trevor was shot in his car by police for no obvious reason after stopping to purchase a drink at a roadside stall on Hagley Park Road. The police story that the gun went off by accident after the policeman was hit down by Trevor was contradicted by evidence from the post mortem and the ballistic analysis of the gun. The members of the jury, who have been very committed to their duty over the long drawn out course of the inquest, clearly found the police account unbelievable.
Trevor’s mother, Ms. Louise Hinds, has been a tower of strength throughout the process so far. The family have faced harassment by the police but they have not been intimidated and have remained committed to pushing the Justice System to provide justice for Trevor. Ms. Hinds reported the harassment to the Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA), attended every sitting of the court, and has kept the team at Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ), and his family, hopeful and committed. Ms. Hinds said after the verdict “I feel so happy and excited. God Bless”. She also had “high respect” for JFJ’s attorneys who she said were “so good and interested”.
The verdict by the Coroner’s Jury means that Constable Hoilette will have to answer to the charge of manslaughter in the Supreme Court. Given the long delays to get the matter to this point, JFJ hopes that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) will see this case as having high priority and deal with it expeditiously.
While JFJ is elated at the verdict and the victory for the family, we are conscious that Trevor was killed fifty eight (58) months ago and his family still awaits final closure and justice for his death. There are other families who have been waiting even longer and are even further away from closure than Trevor’s. JFJ strongly urges the relevant authorities to address these lengthy delays in the Coroner’s Courts and the prosecution of policemen by the ODPP as a matter of urgency. If action is not taken expeditiously to show that all lives are equal and justice will be applied equally to all, the people will continue to lose faith in the system.