A DYING INMATE was among the witnesses yesterday for the first sitting of a special court set to hear charges against 48 prisoners stemming from the burning of Glendairy Prisons.
The preliminary inquiry into the March 29, 2005 fire and unrest began at the former prison, Station Hill, St Michael. The prison has been relocated to Harrison Point.
Errol Spooner, with a catheter and urine bag attached to him, pleaded with Magistrate Deborah Holder to assist him in getting an audience with Acting Superintendent of Prisons, Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse. He wants the meeting before he dies of kidney cancer or more of the violence at the Harrison Point facility.
"I just want to see the superintendent 'cause I fear for my life. I am under a lot of pressure from inmates and prison officers. This is life-threatening; men does get stab up, beat up and brek up down there," said Spooner.
"They tell me that I have to write a letter to see the superintendent, but the letters like they don't reach. I am not saying that every officer is bad, but some are corrupt," Spooner said, adding he was attacked by a warder while walking along a corridor.
Raising his shirt to show his physical state, he told Magistrate Holder: "Ma'am, I gine soon dead. I got kidney cancer."
The preliminary hearing yesterday dealt with charges against Leroy Dennis Snagg who, along with Milton Esajas are charged with separately destroying Her Majesty's Prison along with others by fire on March 29, 2005.
Snagg was the prisoner who was hospitalised with head injuries from a blow with a hammer during the fracas which erupted during the prison fire.
He has since been numbered with those inmates responsible for destroying the over 150-year-old penal institution.
Spooner, Patrick Greaves, Frank Carter and Arleigh James, all inmates, testified yesterday.
Senior Crown Counsel Wanda Blair and Inspector Martin Jones are prosecuting.
The court sits again today at 9 a.m.
News Source - The Nation News Barbados