August 3, 2022 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
Criminal Charges Laid
The much talked about love triangle case has now taken on a new turn as Constable Noel Maitland, who was recently arrested in the case of the missing social media influencer Donna Lee Donaldson 24, was today Tuesday August 2, 2022 charged for murder in the case.
We are not sure if INDECOM will still Interview Baby mother Smith and Noel Maitland today August 3, 2022 as scheduled. We have to wait and see.
Vision is not surprised at this new development. The writing was on the proverbial wall. It was not a matter of if, but instead when. Although not surprised this is not to be interpreted as us gloating at Constable Noel’s criminal charge or downfall. We hold the view that Justice must be served. We are not judging as the accused has professed his innocence and is entitled to a fair trial. His attorney Mr. Christopher Townsend has said inter alia:
“Although my client has been charged for murdered does not mean he is guilty.”
So stated Noel Maitland’s attorney.
Guilt in a murder case is not always easy. Any doubt the accused walks. The verdict has to be beyond any reasonable chance of a doubt.
Presumption Of Innocence
All persons accused of a criminal offense is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. That is different is the accused pleads guilty, then that is the end of the case. Most convictions today in Jamaica seem to ending with the guilty plea. The prosecutor tries to prepare an air tight case that is so tight that the defense lawyer is usually left with no alternative but to advise his or her client to plead guilty and go the route of a more lenient sentence. The court gives this opportunity to the accused. Up to twenty percent less jail time is offered for a guilty plea.
We accept the principle of natural justice and respect that honoured tradition (of natural justice). Constable Noel Maitland like anyone accused is entitled to a fair trial.
Police High Command
We understand that having examined all the facts the investigators have concluded that there is compelling evidence to lay criminal charges at this time against Constable Noel Maitland. The laying of criminal charges against an accused is a serious development. A charge of Malicious Precaution can be brought against a prosecutor for false accusation by a suspect’s lawyer.
To deny someone of their freedom is not looked upon lightly. That is a high point in a democratic society. Freedom of movement and the right to life are high points in most democratic societies.
It has been a virtual nightmare for all, especially the family of the missing 24 year old female Donna Lee Donaldson. She had promise and as Talk Show guru Cliff Hughes of Nationwide News Network (NNN) in Jamaica said inter alia:
“She is pleasing to the eyes”
You interpret that as you wish. We can all relate to that view. Donna Lee Donaldson does look attractive. That as it may, from my perspective it is circumstances surrounding her disappearance that has caused so much public outcry. She was last said to be seen in the presence of her alleged boyfriend, a Constable of police Noel Maitland. It is therefore not unreasonable to expect Donna Lee Donaldson to be safe. She ends up missing and feared dead. It is all so sad.
We now hope that some closure can be put to this case. We all look forward to the trial. Will the accused Constable Noel Maitland get bail anytime soon. That may prove to be a very high hurdle for the defense lawyer to jump over. The right to freedom or bail is one thing, but public sentiment is another. We are not holding our breath in this case. Let us all keep an open mind.
Bail is not automatic.