Mark Willock, the teenager who was remanded on Wednesday after pleading guilty to charges of larceny and malicious damage, reportedly was denied entry to Her Majesty’s Prison.

The 19 year-old appeared in the All Saints Court on March 24, and was remanded – as were two other men – to 1735. 

However, the source says that the Acting Prison Superintendent refused to accept the three males on the ground that he did not know their COVID-19 status.

Reports say the trio was then transported to the St. John’s Police Station, where the Officer in Charge also denied them entry, and they were again refused at Police Headquarters – allegedly with the agreement of the Commissioner.

The three are said to have finally found lodging in the cell at Langfords Police Station.

The prison is a known site of infection, with a cluster of more than 30 inmates and prison officers having being confirmed positive for the coronavirus. 

Earlier this week, the last group of infected prisoners was transported to an isolation centre on the Defense Force compound at Crabbes Peninsula, even as guards staged a protest demanding protective gear and virus testing as conditions for returning to work.

Last week’s Cabinet Notes said that – in order to ease overcrowding at the prison and prevent the spread of COVID – persons on remand would be confined to their homes, fitted with monitoring bracelets, and required to sign in at a police station twice a day.

However, the start date for these new procedures was not specified.

St. John’s Police Station, in January, was found to be a hotspot for the virus.  Several officers posted there and attached to the courts were removed from work after coming into contact with an infected person, and even Commissioner Atlee Rodney had to be quarantined in similar circumstances. 

Meanwhile, it was less than two weeks ago that a sargeant infected with the disease was buried.

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