Judge raps Crown

JUDGE Sanchia Burrell yesterday took the Crown to task in the highly publicised baby-snatching case when the matter was mentioned in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Judge Burrell expressed disappointment that there were three outstanding statements from the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) that have been hindering the Crown from completing its case.

Noting that the situation was unacceptable and that she expected the matter to be transferred to the High Court by July 13, Judge Burrell said it should not be difficult to collect statements from people who are employed to an agency of the State.

At the same time, Judge Burrell argued that the public wanted to know that the matter is prosecuted, given that the day-old baby boy was stolen from Victoria Jubilee Hospital where women go every day to give birth.

Last month, 27-year-old Peta-Gay Ffrench was arrested and charged with child stealing after she went to the RGD in Twickenham Park, St Catherine in an attempt to have the stolen baby registered, but officials at the department grew suspicious after noticing discrepancies with the documents she submitted.

A DNA test later confirmed that the baby belonged to Sinclair Hutton and Suzzett Whyte, whose baby had been snatched from the hospital on January 9.

Insisting that the preliminary report should have been completed, the judge said individuals who are charged with a committal offence should be served on the first court hearing.