BEIJING, China:Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) general secretary, Garth Gayle, was elated with his election to the IAAF’s Technical Committee during yesterday’s Congress in Beijing and believes it bodes well for the country’s influence and overall development in the sport.Gayle, who was only recently elected to the council of the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Association, pocketed 73 of 208 votes in the second round of voting to claim one of 12 available spots on the Technical Committee.In doing so, Gayle became the first Jamaican since Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, who passed away in 2013, to sit in the IAAF.”I am elated and happy that the members of the IAAF family could find it fitting to give me their vote of confidence. It’s now for me to do Jamaica proud, NACAC as well, and also the 216-member federations of the IAAF,” said Gayle, who went on to highlight the duty of the Technical Committee.”Track and field is a multiplicity of events and there are rules that govern these events. The Technical Committee provides support to the Council with regards to current, as well as new innovations for each event; how to make the competitors compete at his or her best, as well as to remove any impediment that will prevent them from achieving their true potential,” said Gayle, who paid homage to McCook, Aris and former IAAF Regional Development Centre director, Lenford Levy, who also died last year.”I have learnt a lot from the late Teddy McCook, Howard Aris and Lenford Levy, who are persons whom I have worked with and it has paid dividends today. I am proud I have been able to do this in their honour and their good memory,” Gayle added. “This is my fifth congress, so I have been able to move around the corridors, make friends as well as also become known in the region, and I believe all of that paid dividends this morning.”Gayle is confident that the country, as well as the region by extension, stands to benefit from his addition to the committee.”We are now on the cutting edge of the latest rules and innovations, I will be able to be a part of those discussions. It allows me to interact with all the various countries on different theories and technologies to make that available to Jamaica and the Caribbean and to play my part in the development of the sport that I love,” said Gayle.”We’re there as a committee to enhance the performance of each athlete, the technical committee is there to work with all the different elements, broadcasters, sponsors, spectators – all that goes into making the production of track and field the spectacle that it is,” he added.- A.L.
…set to open TuesdayThe Demerara Criminal Assizes for January 2018 is schedule to be opened on Tuesday, January 9, and there are 229 cases listed to be heard over the next three months.Justices Navindra Singh, James Bovell-Drakes and Madam Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall would be presiding over the cases.The goal delivery for the October 2017 Criminal Assizes was done by Justice James Bovell-Drakes on Tuesday January 2, bringing to an end the last session of 2017. During the October Criminal Assizes, Justice James Bovell-Drakes, Justice Brassington Reynolds and Madam Justice Simone Morris- Ramlall sat.The session commenced on October 3, 2017 with a total of 218 cases listed. Of these cases, 26 matters were disposed of, with 20 of them received attention in the High Court of Demerara and six others were nolle prosequi (not prosecuted) by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).Of these 20 cases that were presented, two were for the offence of sexual activity with a child family member; three were for the offence of rape of a child under 16 years of age; 13 were for the offence of murder; and there was one each for the offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm and for attempting to commit murder.There were five guilty verdicts by jury; one formal verdict of not guilty; eight guilty pleas; five not guilty verdicts by jury, and one hung jury.Of the 20 cases presented in the High Court, eight of these were prosecuted by State Counsels Nerrisa Leander, Seeta Bishundial and Abigail Gibbs before Madam Justice Simone Morris-Ramlall. Of these eight cases, two were for the offence of sexual activity with a child family member; four were for the offence of murder, and two were for the offence of rape of a child under 16 years.In one of the two cases for the offence of sexual activity with a child family member, the accused, who was indicted on two counts, was sentenced to life imprisonment after the jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty. In the other matter, the accused was indicted on three counts of the offence, and was found guilty on all three counts by the jury. He was sentenced to a total of 65 years’ imprisonment, and will have to serve 50 years before being eligible for parole.In two of the four murder trials, the accused were acquitted after the respective juries returned unanimous verdicts of not guilty of murder nor of the lesser offence of manslaughter.In the other two matters, both accused pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter, and were respectively sentenced to 45 years’ imprisonment and 40 years’ imprisonment. However, one of these two prisoners will serve 22 years’ imprisonment after the trial judge deducted a total of 18 years for the guilty plea and for time spent in custody before trial.In the one matter for the offence of rape of a child under 16 years and sexual activity with a child family member, the accused, indicted on two counts, was acquitted by the jury which returned with majority verdicts of 11 to 1 not guilty of rape of a child under 16 years and 10 to 2 not guilty of sexual activity with a child family member.In one other matter for two counts of rape of a child under 16 years, the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment on each count, with a possibility of parole after serving 35 years’ imprisonment.Another seven of these 20 cases were completed by Justice Bovell-Drakes. The prosecutors were State Counsels Orinthia Schmidt and Mandell Moore. Of these cases, one was for the offence of rape of a child under 16 years, and the other six were for the offence of murder.The complainant in the lone matter for the offence of rape of a child under 16 years testified that she did not wish to proceed with the matter, and as such, the trial judge directed the jury to return a formal verdict of not guilty in favour of the accused.In three of the other six murder cases, the accused all pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter, and were respectively sentenced to 23 years’ imprisonment, 20 years’ imprisonment, and 12 years’ imprisonment.In another one of these cases, the accused, who was indicted for murder with an alternative count of inflicting grievous bodily harm, was by jury found guilty of the lesser offence of manslaughter. He further pleaded guilty to the alternative count, and was sentenced to 21 years’ imprisonment.In another one of these cases, the accused was acquitted after the jury returned a not-guilty verdict. While the accused in one other murder case was unanimously found guilty by the jury. He will be sentenced on January 15, 2018 when a probation report ordered by the trial judge will be presented.Justice Reynolds has completed five matters that were prosecuted by State Counsels Shawnette Austin, Lisa Cave and Tiffiny Lyken. Of these five matters, four were for the offence of murder, and the other was for the offence of attempt to commit murder and for discharging a loaded firearm with intent.In three of these four murder cases, the accused all pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter. In one of these three cases, the accused was indicted on two counts of murder and was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment on each count. His sentences are to run concurrently. The other two accused were respectively sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment and 12 years’ imprisonment.Another lone accused was acquitted by the jury with a unanimous verdict of not guilty. The jury in the lone matter for the offence of attempt to commit murder and discharging a loaded firearm with intent failed to reach a verdict and returned hung. The accused was remanded to prison and ordered to await a new trial.Furthermore, the six matters nolle prosequi by the DPP were for sexual offences. Two for the offence of sexual activity with a child family member, three for the offence of rape of a child under 16 years, and one for the offence of rape. In all of these matters, the complainants, by way of written statements, indicated that they did not wish to proceed with their cases.