Of 29 cases on the list for the fall criminal assizes, 13, or about 45 percent of the total, were completed, Crown Counsel Sarah Benjamin said in High Court Wednesday, as the criminal term formally came to an end.

The term saw nine guilty pleas, two guilty jury verdicts, one not guilty verdict, and one case dismissed at the request of prosecutors, said Ms. Benjamin, who served as assizes manager for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions this term.

Justice Indra Hariprashad-Charles, who is departing the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court to serve on the Supreme Court of the Bahamas, offered praise for the territory’s legal system.

“I am coming from a jurisdiction that I may refer to as a utopia,” Ms. Hariprashad-Charles recalled telling other judges at an international conference.

Defence lawyers and prosecutors both offered praise for the justice, who also received applause from jurors and spectators gathered in the courtroom.

“On behalf of counsel, on behalf of the jury, on behalf of the whole BVI – we wish you the best,” said attorney Richard Rowe.


See the Dec. 21, 2011 edition for full coverage.