Melvin Clarke & Olive Clarke Appellants v Commissioner of Police Respondent [ECSC]

JurisdictionCaribbean States
CourtEastern Caribbean Supreme Court
JudgeCECIL LEWIS, C.J.(Ag.), Acting Chief Justice
Judgment Date02 Feb 1973
Neutral Citation[1973] ECSC J0202-1
Docket NumberMagistrate's Criminal Appeal No. 21 of 1972
[1973] ECSC J0202-1



The Honourable the Acting Chief Justice

The Honourable Mr. Justice St. Bernard

The Honourable Mr. Justice Louisy(Ag.)

Magistrate's Criminal Appeal No. 21 of 1972

Melvin Clarke & Olive Clarke
Commissioner of Police

A. Williams for appellants

Miss M. Joseph (Legal Assistant) for respondent

The judgment of the court was delivered by—

The appellants who are husband and wife were convicted on September 11, 1972 of the offence that they knowingly concealed 21 cases and 8 bottles of White Horse Whisky and 7 cases of 555 State Express Cigarettes, with intent to evade the payment of the duties thereon contrary to section 90 of the Customs Ordinance, Chapter 183 of the Laws of Saint Vincent 1926.


The evidence discloses that a policeman, Station Sergeant Bascombe, went to the house of the appellants on July 5, 1972 with a search warrant. He took with him a party of policemen. When he got to the house the male appellant was not at home, but his wife was. He told her that he had a warrant to search her house and that of her husband and he read the warrant to her. He asked her if she had any of the articles mentioned in the warrant on her premises, she told him yes. He then requested her to hand them over to him and she told him to come and he entered the house. Mrs. Clarke produced a bunch of keys and unlocked aroom in the house. There was a bed inside this room and some cases packed one on top the other. The sergeant examined the cases and found the articles mentioned in the complaint. He took Mrs. Clarke along with the articles to Police Headquarters whore the articles were unloaded and stored. Later that day he saw the appellant Melvin Clarke at the Police Station.


The goods were shown to the Supervisor of Customs, Theodore Ballah, who gave evidence that they had been brought into the State without payment of duty. He examined the marks on the goods and he examined the register in which is kept a record of all goods of this nature imported into the State, and he found that there was no record whatsoever of these goods having passed through the customs.


On that evidence the Magistrate came to the conclusion that there was a prima facie case for both appellants to answer. They declined to go into the witness box, called no evidence on their behalf and he convicted them.


It was argued that there was no evidence that...

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