Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part I

Incidents of Infringements of Constitutional Rights

Paragraph 31. - XII. Norbert St. Bernard

31. Norbert St. Bernard had another unpleasant encounter with Moslyn Bishop and other police aides on Tuesday, the 20th of November, 1973, in the town of St. Georges.

He was sitting in a bus when Moslyn Bishop came up and ordered him out. Accompanying Bishop were Dudley Parsee, Thornhill Clarke, Gordon Noel and Alston Hood, all of them being police aides. When St. Bernard did not leave the bus [Alston] Hood pointed a revolver at him and told him "Get out" and he did so.

Immediately Moslyn Bishop punched and kicked him then held him and took him to the police station where [Moslyn] Bishop produced a scissors and informed the Sergeant on duty that he had found an "illegal weapon" on him.

St. Bernard was confined in a cell until the following day when he was taken before Mr. Lloyd St. Louis, a magistrate, who refused an application for bail made on his behalf by Mr. Lloyd Noel who had pointed out to the magistrate that St. Bernard was entitled as of right to bail under the provisions of Section 50 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, Cap. 77.

The Magistrate remanded St. Bernard in custody until the following Wednesday, when the charge against him was dismissed for want of prosecution as Moslyn Bishop had failed to attend the Court.

The Magistrate, Mr. Lloyd St. Louis was examined on oath before the Commission. He admitted that he had erred when he refused bail to St. Bernard and said that he had realised he was in error later in the day after he had left the bench. It would have been quite easy for him to have had St. Bernard brought back before him but he did nothing whatever to remedy his error and thereby unlawfully deprived St. Bernard of his liberty for a whole week.

Our further comments on this matter will be found under the head dealing with the Magistracy.

There were other incidents relating to the conduct of this Magistrate and of another Magistrate, Mr. Irving I. Duncan, which can be more conveniently dealt with when we consider the circumstances leading up to the arrest and charging of Six persons on Sunday the 18th of November, 1973, under Clause 1 B of the terms of reference. It will also make for convenience at the same time to deal with Clause 2 0 the alleged brutality by the police and the alleged denial of medical and legal assistance, and Clause 3 - the refusal by the Magistrate to grant bail. We turn now to these matters.

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