Lack of birth paper keeps man in jail

September 21, 2023

A Corporate Area man who has been in custody for almost two years because he has no birth certificate was admitted to bail on Wednesday when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Frederick Ferreira is charged on an indictment for taking steps to export ganja, possession of and dealing in banana and trafficking ganja. He was found with 78 pounds of ganja. It was explained that Ferreira was offered station bail for the charges and appeared in court. A parish judge imposed bail conditions, ordering Ferreira to surrender his travel documents and a stop order was imposed. For the bail conditions to be effected, Ferreira was taken into custody, awaiting his travel documents, whether a passport or birth certificate.

However, according to attorney-at-law Jermaine Earl Campbell, who is representing Ferreira, his client does not have a birth certificate in his possession, and so he has been languishing in custody for the past year and nine months.

Campbell, in an attempt to have his client admitted to bail, submitted that Ferreira applied for a birth certificate but was unable to pick up the document as the readiness of the certificate coincided with his detention. The application, which was heard by Parish Judge Venise Blackstock-Murray, was successful as the judge conceded and removed the bail conditions that required Ferreira to submit his travel documents. Instead, Judge Blackstock-Murray made it a condition of his bail that he reports to the police daily.

The matter was adjourned and Ferreira had his bail extended to return to court on December 1.

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