Lawyer a no-show in court because of no practising certificate
A defence lawyer failed to appear at a trial due to start yesterday because his practising certificate was not renewed in time.
Charles Richardson should have represented a 35-year-old man accused of attempted sexual assault at a trial in Magistrates’ Court.
The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was in court but Mr Richardson failed to show for the start of the case.
Magistrate Craig Attridge asked Javone Rogers, for the Crown, to find out what had happened to Mr Richardson.
Mr Rogers left the court to check and later told Mr Attridge that Mr Richardson’s practising certificate had “not yet been issued by Bar Council but it should be sorted in the next few days”.
He said Mr Richardson, who works as a consultant at the Government’s Legal Aid office and who appeared at the Supreme Court arraignments session on Monday, had written a note of explanation to the court.
Mr Attridge said he had not seen the note.
He added that someone from the Legal Aid office should have attended the hearing with Mr Richardson’s diary.
The magistrate said the alleged offence dated back to May 2018 and so the trial was a “priority matter”.
Mr Attridge added: “I am not particularly happy about this … but I don’t think I have any choice but to adjourn.”
He adjourned the case until next Monday for a new trial date to be arranged.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Legal Affairs, which is responsible for the Legal Aid office, said last night: “Mr Richardson now has a practising certificate.
“Any additional questions should be referred to the Bermuda Bar Association for comment.”
Mr Richardson and the Bar Association could not be contacted for comment yesterday.