After spending 15 years in jail …”FREED OF MURDER”

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The slow pace of justice came to the forefront on Tuesday when a man charged with murder was freed after spending 15 years in prison.

Jimmy Huggins walked out of the San Fernando High Court a free man on Tuesday. A 12- member jury returned with a not-guilty verdict after deliberating for less than an hour.

Huggins was before Justice Carla Brown-Antoine charged with the murder Dalip Rambharose, 53. Rambharose died of a heart attack on May 17, 2003, two weeks after a man chopped off his left thumb during an attempted robbery at Rambharose’s mini-mart at Sobo Circular Road, Sobo Village in La Brea.

The State led evidence that on May 2, 2003, Huggins and another person attempted to rob the diabetic businessman during which he (Rambharose) was chopped. The injury caused Rambharose’s death.

After he was released, Huggins said, “God is the boss”. Huggins said throughout his long wait in jail, his family never abandoned him.

Huggins said the time in jail was a virtual sentence. “Jail is not a nice place. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. My daughter is now 14 years and I just want to go home and introduce myself to her. I want to be with my family.”

He plans to seek employment as soon as possible, having completed a fisherman’s course and computer literacy programmes, among others, prior to his arrest. Saying there are many innocent people languishing in jail, Huggins had a warning for the public. He claimed people are framing others for murders.

Huggins stated, “There is something that is going on where people are giving people murders and sending people to point them out and to give statements. We have to be careful.”

Rekha Ramjit, defence attorney, said if proper investigations and analysis were done, her client would never have been charged. She criticized the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority and the judiciary saying both are falling apart.

Ramjit added, “The judiciary seems to be finding itself in more and more problems every single day, none of which assists in speeding up the delivery of justice. Whether people are innocent or guilty, they ought to know that at an early stage.”

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