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Five appear on protest charges

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Five men reappeared in court this afternoon in connection with the protests outside the House of Assembly on December 2.

It came as about 100 people carrying a Bermuda Public Services Union banner marched down Court Street towards the Dame Lois Browne-Evans building chanting: “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”

Dornielle Farrel, Ernest Trott, Antoine Minors and Sherman Hill are all accused of obstructing police officers in the execution of their duty.

Mr Farrel, 27, of Southampton, Mr Trott, 51, of Devonshire, Mr Minors, 34, of Devonshire, and Mr Hill, 58, of Hamilton Parish, denied the charges at a previous hearing.

This afternoon after a short hearing they were told to reappear at Magistrates' Court on May 26 at 9.30am. All four men were released on bail.

Jason Hayward, president of the Bermuda Public Service Union, also appeared for a brief hearing into his matter.

Mr Hayward previously pleaded not guilty to obstructing police officers and interfering with ministers' access to the House of Assembly. He has elected to be tried at Magistrates' Court.

This afternoon he was told to return to court on May 31 at 9.30am when a trial date will be set. Mr Hayward was bailed until that date.

Dozens of supporters filled the courtroom this afternoon including Chris Furbert, president of the Bermuda Industrial Union and the Reverend Nicholas Tweed of the People's Campaign. Several Progressive Labour Party MPs were also present including opposition leader David Burt, Derrick Burgess and Wayne Furbert.

Outside the court, demonstrators continued to arrive in a slow but steady trickle.

One demonstrator commented: “This government has definitely got to go.”

Others held signs questioning why Mr Hayward is being “attacked”, with another reading: “Unions are the protectors of the workers.”

After his hearing, Mr Hayward later left the building to applause from the demonstrators.

Addressing the crowd, Mr Hayward said he had been informed that their march to the courts had been in breach of the law because they did not have a permit.

He added that he was told if they marched back on the road police would take pictures and there could be prosecutions, saying he would be walking back on the sidewalk.

He then returned along Court Street with supporters, remaining on the western sidewalk.

The Bermuda Police Service maintained a presence outside the court throughout the proceedings.

• It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

Photograph by Blaire Simmons
Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes
Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes

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Published May 03, 2017 at 3:46 pm (Updated May 03, 2017 at 4:29 pm)

Five appear on protest charges

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