One of the police officers charged in the death of Oscar Bartholomew may not face any financial responsibility in the civil matter brought by Bartholomew’s family.
Attorney-at-law Anslem Clouden said in a press conference on Tuesday that finally a judgment has been reached in the Oscar Bartholomew civil matter. He said Government and the police officers had been sued by the estate of the deceased Bartholomew for wrongful death. The proceeding, he added was heard sometime over a year ago before Madam Justice Roberts sitting in the civil court. An oral judgement was delivered last week to be reduced to writing and subsequently distributed.
He recalls that Bartholomew allegedly died at the hands of the police officers while in custody at the St. David Police Station, later taken to the hospital where he was officially pronounced dead.
The Director of Public Prosecution he noted ultimately charged a number of the officers with manslaughter.
Clouden stated that his client Rudy Felix was at the time a diarist at the St. David Police Station, he too was charged. When the criminal matter went before the Corona’s inquest, one of the police officers was discharged by the presiding magistrate. Rudy Felix and others, he said were charged subsequently by the DPP. Notwithstanding the criminal matter, there was also a civil matter commenced by Mr Derek Sylvester on behalf of the estate of the late Bartholomew. His wife Clouden explained, who is the administratrix, gave testimony since she was at the police station at the time of the incident while other witnesses were called. Other police officers were cross-examined and the reserved judge delivered the judgement orally last week where she found that the government was vicariously liable along with other police officers save and except Rudy Felix.
According to Clouden, based on the evidence presented and the testimony of witnesses, the learned head judge determined that Rudy Felix was not liable and the action against him was dismissed but the other police officers including Hazzard whom the corona’s inquest had found not liable in the criminal matter, was found liable in the civil judgement by Madam Justice Roberts.
Clouden said Felix is freed from any financial obligation towards the estate of Oscar Bartholomew; he had not participated in what had transpired at the St. David Police Station and had maintained that throughout. The next step the seasoned lawyer said would be to approach the Director of Public Prosecution and having regard to the findings of the court that Felix was not liable civilly, they are going to make representation at the appropriate time to have Felix discharged from criminal responsibility.