May 18, 2021 – Sergeant Gilbert Smith was sentenced to pay a fine of $300,000.00 or three months imprisonment, by Presiding Judge His Honour Dale Staple in the Clarendon Parish Court on May 17, 2021.
Sgt. Smith’s sentencing followed the March 29, 2021 ruling where he was found guilty for the charge of breach of Section 33 of The Independent Commission of Investigations Act, 2010.
The Presiding Judge outlined that “deterrence, punishment, protection of society, probity, transparency and cooperation of the membership of the police force is vital to the process [of oversight]. The conduct of members of the force can stand up to scrutiny”.
The Presiding Judge found that the repeated failure by Sgt. Smith, as someone in a supervisory position, to provide the statement requested by INDECOM sent a “bad message to squaddies below his rank”. His Honour Dale Staple added that there was the need to send a strong message that INDECOM’s notices are to be complied with; it is not an option; the non-compliance will not be tolerated.
Sgt. Smith’s counsel gave verbal notice of his intention to Appeal the ruling.
Three requests were made of Sgt. Smith to furnish a statement to the Commission concerning an investigation of an incident of assault on September 16, 2016. Sgt. Smith failed to provide a statement, and was therefore in breach for failing to comply with a lawful requirement of the Commission, without lawful justification or excuse.