Thursday, March 23, 2023


Sex Offender Is Dead After 5 Day Prison Release. Was It Vigilante Justice?

The sex offender publicly released last week, died today in hospital following his discovery through a small road.

According to the Nassau Guardian, Alden Scott was found unresponsive on a dirt road while bleeding through the nose.

It is not known if he was attacked or the origin of his injuries.

His brother, Ronald Scott spoke to the daily saying, “The policeman took him to the hospital…Here we are [a] couple [of] days later, he’s dead.”

The big picture

Alden was released on Friday after being added to the sex offender registry. He served nine years in prison for sexual assault and was sentenced to two years in prison for caressing a girl’s thigh back in January.

Why it matters

Alden was the first person to be added to the sex offenders’ registry in a public notice. Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe warned that the public should refrain from issuing vigilante justice and cautioned that public notification will be discontinued if anyone physically assaults Alden on his release.

How the public reacts

Some social media users expressed no empathy for Alden.

Devon Rox says, “Knowing what sexual assault does to a person mentally and physically until the day they die, I have no compassion for the rapist.”

Stacey Smith says, “God doesn’t sleep.”

Negrita Valdez says she anticipated that the sex offender would be killed after release. “I knew it wasn’t going to be too long for him to enjoy his freedom…”

Monique Knowles calls for law reforms. “I don’t know why laws are not stricter. He should not have been allowed out in public after the second offense.”

Convicted Sex Offender Released In First Public Notice. Who Is He?

Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe announced the release of a sex offender in a rare move at a press conference on Friday.

Who is the sex offender?

  • 55-year-old Alden Scott of Strachan Corner, off East Street .
  • He was convicted of sexually assaulting a nine-year old girl in 2021 after being sentenced to prison for nine years for a similar offence.
  • He is 5 feet and 5 inches with black hair, brown eyes.
  • He weighs 165 lbs.

Why it matters

This is the first time a sex offender’s release from prison has been announced publicly. Public outcry has grown louder as apparent cases of sexual offences increase in the country.

State of Play

If the offender is physically assaulted while released,  Munroe warned that the public notices will be discontinued.

Munroe: Officer at Fault in Sexual Assault Shared Cell Case

A police officer is expected to be disciplined for placing a woman in a cell with a man who sexually assaulted her in custody.

Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe said the officer took responsibility for his actions and will be reprimanded.

Munroe could not say what disciplinary action the officer will face, only to say that he will await the “punishment.”

“The officer, from the information received from the commissioner of police, has acknowledged that he was at fault,” he said.

“I’ll have to wait and see what punishment is meted out, but I would expect that some punishment has to be meted out for that.”

Munroe said he does not know if the officer is still on duty.

“I cannot say that,” he said.

“If you wish, I could find out, but I expect that he would be disciplined.”

The big story

In October, 32-year-old Ryan Raymond Bodie, admitted to assaulting the 25-year-old woman while at the East Street South Police Station.

Bodie, described as a vagrant, was arrested for threatening his father, and shared cells with the woman who was detained on a traffic warrant.

No explanation was given on why they were placed in the same cell.

Bodie was remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services for a psychiatric assessment to determine his fitness to plead.

He is scheduled to make his next court appearance on December 14.

Autopsy: Bella Died From Blunt Force Trauma; Munroe Says No Evidence of Sexual Abuse

Police confirmed that 4-year-old Bella Walker died as a result of blunt force trauma to the body.

The trauma caused multiple fractures to her body, police said.

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle lamented the brutal injuries that caused internal injuries to the little girl. ” I don’t know what they were thinking.”

The big picture

Bella died on Friday afternoon and police ruled her death “suspicious.” The main suspect is the boyfriend of her mother who remains in police custody. He was seen assisting the unresponsive body of the girl into an ambulance.

Neighbours recalled the child being left home alone and wandering the streets of Major Subdivision.

Bella lived with her grandparents in Grand Bahama from the age of two weeks until she was four years old. Two months ago, she was sent to live with her mother.

Government officials have spoken out against the violent act.

Today, Marco City MP Michael Pintard encouraged the government to send a clear message to perpetrators in child abuse cases, showing that “we have had enough as a country and are prepared to do something fundamentally different.”

National Security Minister rejects sexual abuse claims

Speculations arose that the child was sexually assaulted, CSJ Report was informed that her vagina showed signs of swelling and injury, in addition to previous fractures that healed on their own.

But National Security Minister Wayne Munroe said there was no evidence to suggest she was sexually abused.

Outside of parliament on Wednesday morning, he said, “We don’t need to insinuate more into something than is there. If a child dies, if it’s by violence, that is unacceptable. And I don’t understand that people don’t see that sufficient.”

Imprisoning the Country’s Mentally Ill. Why a Mother Wants Answers After Her Son Was Found Dead in a Prison Cell

Mikhail Miller was diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis due to the intake of contaminated drugs.

His mother Rose Miller struggled with him and tried to admit him to the country’s medical institute for the mentally ill, Sandilands Rehabilitation Center. So she sought the assistance of police officers.

Rose was told that she needed a reason for 29-year-old Mikhail to be picked up by officers and sent to Sandilands.

Rose then got a warrant for his arrest producing evidence that he stole shoes from his brother which he was told by a judge to refund to his brother.

Since he did not make payments, Rose asked that Mikhail be placed before the courts again.

“But they said that they didn’t see the warrant into the system and so I said I need help to get him off the street and so they said ‘well, did he steal (anything from you)’ and I said yes he take my tablet (and) my phone and they said that will be a reason to get him off the street.”

Rose asked that he be sent to Sandilands Rehabilitation Center but he was remanded at the Bahamas Department of Corrections.

What happened?

Mikhail was found dead in his cell on Monday morning. Pathologist Dr. Karen Sands is still doing an investigation to determine the cause of death but reports suggested he was found with injuries, which could have been caused by natural or unnatural causes.

Rose believes Mikhail was ganged in a cell and placed in a quarantined cell where he died. But official reports have not determined this.

Was an officer on guard?

It is not known if a prisoner officer saw what transpired, if anything did, but the prison remains overcrowded, which National Minister Wayne Munroe says makes it harder for officers to monitor each individual.

The prison also houses patients from the Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, which has a moratorium on new admittances due to COVID-19.

A prison officer who wanted to remain anonymous told CSJ Report that the cell holding the mentally ill at the facility is overwhelming for officers since many of the patients are without medication and as a result are acting erratically.

SRC seemed to have forgotten these patients as some are defecating on the floors of the prison.

Davis’ Pick for National Security is Worrisome

Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe is among the newly appointed members in Prime Minister Philip Davis’ cabinet and that’s troubling.

His appointment has raised eyebrows since Munroe is a criminal defense lawyer who has gained a reputation for protecting society’s worst.

His career has complicated matters for the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Munroe and his partner, Jomo Campbell, the new Minister of State for Legal Affairs have defended notorious gang leaders and murderers who terrorize the Bahamian society.

Criminals often obtain the services of Munroe and Campbell while being investigated by police for killings. The outcome is usually an acquittal and they are released to commit other killings. And the pattern continues.

Munroe’s name has become synonymous with the representation of hardened criminals.

He has publicly criticized the police force and its duty to carry out law and order.

However, Davis lauded Munroe at the swearing-in ceremony, saying he will “bring balance and fairness to the way the state interacts with the people.”

Munroe said he will waste no time to push for inquests into police shootings.

“A speedy system benefits not only the families who say something went wrong but officers whose careers may be languished and held up while these matters drag on and that will be a matter I will be discussing,” he told reporters after the ceremony.

Reports are that Munroe’s relationship with the Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle is quite frosty due to his prior stands and criticisms levied at the organization.

In a social media post, some members of the public have expressed concerns regarding the appointment of Munroe as National Security Minister.

Cherneka Brown said, “He helps criminals out of jail and now the minister of national security…?

Brent Gibson said, “Gangsterism, who makes a criminal lawyer, a national security minister?”

Liz Jones said, “He will bring strife and turmoil to the police force and other security forces.”

It will be interesting to see how Munroe carries out his duty as the minister with responsibility for national security, his answers for the plaguing crime problem, and whether or not he can balance his relationship and defense of criminals with the rules and laws that govern the country.

Meet Davis’ Cabinet Members

Eight members of the Cabinet were sworn in on Monday afternoon to serve as ministers in the Davis-led administration.

Prime Minister Philip Davis said they will “deliver the party’s promise of a new day.”

  1. Fred Mitchell–Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is an outspoken member of the PLP and was party chairman. He served in the Perry Christie administration in the same position in 2012. When the PLP lost in 2017, he lost his seat but was appointed PLP senator.
  2. Glennys Hanna-Martin–Minister of Education and Vocational Training. She has been a longtime member of the PLP, having served in the Christie administration in 2012 as Minister of Transport and Aviation. The party lost in 2017, but she retained her seat and was one of four PLPs who returned to the Parliament as the opposition.
  3. Michael Darville–Minister of Health. He was the MP for Pineridge and Minister of Grand Bahama in 2012 in the Christie administration. When his party lost, he became a PLP senator.
  4. Michael Halkitis–Minister of Economic Affairs and Leader of Government Business in the Senate. He lost to the FNM in the 2021 election. He served in the Christie administration as the Minister of State for Finance in 2012.
  5. Clay Sweeting–Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs. He ran against FNM MP Ricky Martin in 2017 and lost. The fisherman was then appointed a PLP senator in the Upper Chamber.
  6. Alfred Sears–Minister of Works and Utilities. He was the Member of Parliament for Fort Charlotte from 2000 to 2012 and served in the Christie administration. He lost his seat to the FNM in 2017. He once served as Minister of Education and as Attorney General in the Christie administration.
  7. Wayne Munroe–Minister of National Security. He is a prominent lawyer. He ran in 2017 for the PLP but lost to the FNM. He was also a former DNA member.
  8. Jomo Campbell–Minister of State for Legal Affairs. He is new to politics and is believed to be a lawyer in Wayne Munroe’s office.

Davis said his Cabinet “will move with urgency, that this moment requires.”

Governor-General C.A Smith asked that the country “set aside differences until next five years.” He added, “Don’t worry about tomorrow. Let’s unite and together make a better Bahamas.”

How Minnis Intended 2-Month Emergency Order Extension, But Seems to Have Changed Mind

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis wanted to extend the emergency order by two months when the proclamation expires on November 30th.

CSJ Report understands that Minnis as the competent authority intended to continue the state of emergency order to January, but faced opposition from a few Cabinet ministers.

When Minnis presented the fixed plan to ministers, he expected them to come in agreement but an outspoken minister told him he could not consent.

Why it matters

The emergency order expires on November 30th, after the country was placed under nearly eight months of the emergency order. Minnis gave notice in the House of Assembly on Wednesday that once the order expires this month, he intends to extend the order to December 28th, an indication that he had changed his mind.

The big picture

As COVID-19 cases rose in the country, Governor-General C.A Smith declared a state of emergency in March. The order was initially set to expire on June 29.

Attorney General Carl Bethel said the proclamations “ensure public health.”

The order faces opposition

  • Attorney Wayne Munroe is a known opposer of the emergency order, threatening to file a lawsuit against the government.
  • Attorney Damien Gomez says he will join that lawsuit if the emergency order is extended beyond January.
    • He says, “My view of it is, firstly, you should only use states of emergency sparingly. Doing it repeatedly undermines the perception of the country as a country governed by laws and freedoms.”

How Street Vendors Fit In Minnis’ Plan After Arrests

In recent times, the streets of the country have become occupied with street vendors, selling bottled water, coconut water, fruits and peanuts, some on sidewalks, and others in the middle of two-lane traffic.

Unemployment, compounded by the increased cost of living, has rapidly accelerated street vending in the country, particularly in New Providence.

On Monday, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis addressed them, promising to review the current licensing and regulatory procedures.  Dr. Minnis said his government wants to enable street vendors to sell their products in safe and secure venues.

He said street vendors play an important role in the country’s economy. “Accordingly, we will be offering a way for enterprising Bahamians to be able to sell their products on the streets of their respective islands,” Dr. Minnis said.

“We want them to be able to do so in a way that does not pose undue dangers to themselves, pedestrians, or the motoring public. We will put in place the standards that ensure that they are able to meet health code requirements and thus not pose any health risk related to COVID-19 or otherwise. The vendors will be trained in these standards as a requirement of their license.”

This comes after some ‘coconut boys’ have been arrested and charged before the courts for violating the order and selling their products during the pandemic.

Regulations implemented by Minnis to limit the increase of street vendors

In May, Dr.Minnis announced plans to put an end to unregulated street vendors.

In the country’s fight to prevent the spread of the virus, Dr. Minnis said the government will create designated locations for vendors.

“This sprawling of vendors that we see today throughout New Providence will no longer be seen nor tolerated,” he said.

These requirements by vendors are necessary for operation:

  • Vendor’s permit
  • Valid I.D. card /driver’s license/passport.
  • Food Handlers Certificate.
  • Letter of inspection from Environmental Health – if selling food.
  • Letter from District Head Quarters of Police Department.
  • A Valid Business Licence.

Who are the ‘coconut boys’?

Economic hardship experienced by these young people has resulted in the creation of a small street business in search of better livelihoods.

Many of the vendors selling coconut water are males between the age of 18 and 25. Many have recounted stories of hardships and accumulating only enough money to cover expenses and care for their families.

  • Jason Williams is an 18-year-old graduate of C.I Gibson who started his own business one year ago, selling coconut juice and jelly to locals and visitors throughout Nassau.  He said he operated the small business to help support his family as he searches for a job. Williams said street vending keeps him focused in a society where young men have turned to violence and gang activities.  photo
  • Marvin Joseph is a 20-year-old man who sells mangoes, coconut water, and coconut jelly on the side of the street. Joseph said life has been hard for him and the job allows him to make enough money to feed his daughter, and pay rent. Joseph said he was evicted from his home and was living with his aunt. 
  • Moreko Mackey is a 19-year-old  street vendor of Harold Road who sells coconut water and meat.

All of the vendors aforementioned were charged before the Magistrates’ Court. Williams was fined $700, Joseph was fined $800 after three violations of the order, and Mackey was released by the Magistrate with a warning. These fines were paid with the assistance of the public.

Minnis softening his approach

The public has criticized Minnis administration’s hard stance against vendors who have won the empathy and support of the public.

On Monday, Dr. Minnis said his government will make available additional funding to the Small Business Development Center for business loans or grants for the street vendors. He said this will allow them to adjust to the current circumstances and to support or expand their business start-ups or expansion.

He said the coconut boys will be given a financial grant, which is a gift from the government, to establish and expand their business

Minnis added that materials needed for the job will also be provided such as coolers and umbrellas to operate on the street.

Attorney Wayne Munroe and activist Khandi Gibson have since called on Dr. Minnis to assist in the expungement of the coconut boys’ criminal records which they said pose a threat to their advancement.

3 Tips for a Healthy Marriage During the Coronavirus Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has caused couples to spend more time together than ever before. While quality time is beneficial, it may present challenges since too much time together may become overwhelming due to lack of space and little individual time for oneself.

In fact, attorneys have expressed that marriages in the Bahamas are dissolving during this time, as they have received numerous calls to assist in divorce cases.

QC Wayne Munroe said spending too much time together is the quickest way to get a divorce, as little things become annoying. Munroe said he expects more divorces as lockdown continues.

While Munroe may have a bleak outlook on marriages, Therapist and Relationship Consultant Harrison Thompson says your marriage can survive the lockdown.

Harrison Thompson Official

Here’s how:

1. Carve out Individual time

We all need to ensure that while spending more time together, we don’t run into ‘proximity fatigue’ where we’re tired of seeing our partner when we usually don’t. Don’t get offended by space either but use it to refresh so that you can come back together, reinvigorated.

2. Allow your partner to have feelings

Sometimes we don’t let our partner feel and go through their emotions without judging them for it. Feelings are meant to be felt and when we don’t do that, problems get worse and so do our responses to them.

3. Be silly

Only be an adult when absolutely necessary. Sometimes we take in too much information that overwhelms us and makes us anxious. Being silly with one another is a great way to break tensions and return to a lighter mood.