TWO police officers on the first floor of the Supreme Court building narrowly escaped serious injuries yesterday when a chunk of loose concrete from the second floor came crashing through the ceiling, shattering just inches from where they sat.
A part of the blown-out ceiling fell on one of the cops.
The Supreme Court building on King Street, downtown Kingston. (Observer file photo)
The incident occurred around midday at the entrance to the Number 6 courtroom where the cops were waiting for the cases in which they were involved to be called up.
“I just heard a loud bang and the ceiling caved in and some of the debris crashed on his head,” said Corporal Garnett Shand of the Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, pointing to his colleague Sergeant C McLoud of the Hunts Bay Police Station.
“The Bulk of it missed him by inches,” said a startled Shand. “This is hazardous. You can come to court and get your death. The policeman narrowly escaped death today.”
A shaken McLoud was thankful that he was not harmed.
“If I had been sitting like this,” said McLoud while demonstrating by leaning forward, “Mi head would a lick off.”
Yesterday’s incident is not the first of its kind at the Supreme Court. About two years ago a chuck of concrete broke off in the jury room and crashed onto a couch, frequently used by jurors and other court workers. In another incident, another piece of falling concrete badly damaged an item of furniture.
The aging Supreme Court building, located on King Street, downtown Kingston, recently underwent multimillion-dollar refurbishing.
One concerned worker yesterday called for an audit of the work done, while another said that the ceiling should be removed and the concrete above checked for fault.
“What they need to do is remove all the ceilings and check the concrete because a loose piece could be over our heads now,” said the worker, who asked not to be named.
There was no comment from the Supreme Court’s administration.
The Observer newspaper was, however, informed that structural engineers will be called in to check the entire building for faults.
This also represents to me the state of affairs in our so called justice system generally where cases languish in court, witnesses are n’t properly protected, other court houses islandwide are also in a bad conditions or worse and have had to be closed, not to mention the cost overruns and faulty construction of the brand new unopened court house in Port Antonio.
The bungling mess presently in the new Computerised ID parade system (UK funded) where no gazzetted legislation is present however it was lauched on a “go ahead” legal opinion now being reversed with more than 53 cases that require ID parades to proceed now on hold and the suspects rights more or less being held to ransom.
As a popular talk show house says “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold, mere anarchy is loose open the world”
(parts of this post are from the Observer article by Paul Henry 24.09.09)