If it is unable to source a new or used vehicle by Monday, September
18, the St. John’s Magistrates Court will be without a bus to
transport prisoners to and from their hearings.
About two weeks ago, REAL News reported that the vehicle used to
transport inmates between His Majesty’s Prison and the Court was
without a door.
This had created concerns about security and the risk of prisoners
escaping while en route.
It was also reported that the air-conditioning in the bus was not
working, and that it was risky to have the windows down when the
vehicle was filled with prisoners.
REAL News understands that, since that time, the Court has been
using the bus of the High Court to transport inmates.
However, with the September Criminal Assizes scheduled to open
on Monday, September 18, officials at the High Court have requested
the use of their bus to transport prisoners to and from their
arraignments and trials.
A source tells our Newsroom that court officials reportedly made
requests of the attorney-general for a new bus – and promises were
given that the matter will be addressed.
But if the court does not receive the vehicle by next week, the source
says, the situation will become “precarious.”