Dealing with the cases that have stemmed from incidents this past year at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) is proving to be an exercise of organization and patience for lawyers representing the slew of inmates charged.
There were so many of the cases called in provincial court in St. John’s Wednesday, Judge Lori Marshall commented, “It’s a case that cries out for a case management meeting.”
Of the more than a dozen men facing charges (many for more than one incident), some of them have entered pleas, some have requested trial dates and another wants a preliminary inquiry.
Since many of the men are charged jointly, Marshall suggested that all the cases be recalled in court July 9 so defence lawyers could schedule a time when they can all meet to sort things out.
“It’s very convoluted,” the judge said.
Prisoners who were charged include: Paul Connolly, Justin Harvey, Philip James Hollihan, Calvin Clifford Kenny, Justin Owens, Philip Wayne Pynn, Julian Matthew Squires, Christopher Wade Sutton, Justin Wiseman, Jody Clarke, Justin Harvey, Jason Marsh, Nicholas Gardias, Devon Hubert Dominix and Brian Thomas Grech.
Many of them appeared via videolink in court Wednesday.
Some face charges of participating in a riot, some with assault with a weapon or assault causing bodily harm, and others with mischief by damaging property.
This past year, five serious incidents have happened at HMP, including a violent assault in the chapel in February, a hostage-taking in August 2013, as well as rampages by inmates — in both February and June — that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the aging facility.
After proceedings ended Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Danny Vavasour left the courtroom, wheeling three banker’s boxes full of files from the cases.