12th November 2019
Yesterday, 11 November, the Preliminary Inquiry into the case of the Commissioner of Police v. Gavin Scott Hapgood resumed in the Magistrate’s Court. Hapgood was due to present himself at the Court as required by bail conditions imposed on him by Order of the High Court dated 17 April 2019.
Hapgood did not present himself before the Court. In a letter e-mailed late on Sunday 10 November, his legal team notified the presiding magistrate that they had advised their client not to return to Anguilla. The letter further stated that this advice rested on concerns for their client’s safety and the fairness of the judicial process in Anguilla. Both concerns are totally groundless.
Following Hapgood’s failure to appear in Court the presiding magistrate adjourned for a further hearing. At that hearing, he will make a final determination of the matter at hand.
In consequence of this wilful defiance of the High Court Order, a bench warrant will be sought from the High Court Judge for his arrest. When this is shortly obtained this will be circulated through Interpol to police forces around the world. The bail bond of EC$200,000.00 has been forfeited. Other formal processes will now commence regarding Hapgood who is now a fugitive.
The Crown remains determined to progress this case. It will do so – as it has since proceedings started – objectively, fairly, with full regard for the rule of law and the principles of natural justice, including the presumption of innocence. Hapgood’s decision to abscond will not allow him to evade justice.