Defence attorney Peter Champagnie yesterday urged his colleagues in the legal fraternity to offer crime-fighting solutions as the country continues to grapple the problem of murder.
Champagnie, who was speaking at the opening of the Home Circuit Court, made the call against the background of the murder last weekend of attorney Sashakay Fairclough in Ocho Rios, St Ann.
“…It is a sad reminder that none of us are immune from the savagery in terms of criminal conduct,” he said, as Justice Vivene Harris presided over the commencement of the Michaelmas Term which runs from September to December.
“Having said that, my lady, I do believe that it behoves us at the private bar — especially those who practise at the criminal bar — to be mindful that while we remain guardians of the rights of individuals and defend our clients to the best of our ability within the confines of the law and all ethical standards, we have a greater responsibility in this new dispensation to …offer solutions in the way of crime fighting and crime prevention,” Champagnie said, noting that three attorneys have been killed since the start of the year.
Fairclough was shot dead last Friday while driving her car with her mother aboard. The attack was carried out by gunmen travelling in another car, police said, adding that her mother was injured.
Yesterday, Justice Harris extended condolence on behalf of judges to Fairclough’s family, friends and colleagues.
“I think that that incident has brought sharply into focus that one of the things that remind us all as law-abiding citizens of Jamaica that we want to see a country where crime is significantly reduced so that our children, who are the future, will inherit a great legacy free from crime,” Justice Harris said.