A POLICE officer was arrested on Friday morning and taken before a magistrate to explain why he had not been attending court in a child neglect case.
PC Adrian Sortio explained to senior magistrate Jo-Anne Connor, however, that he had been injured and was in hospital.
He failed to show up on two occasions to testify in the matter against Candace Dieal, 38, of Caratal Village, Gasparillo, who was charged with wilful neglect of her two young children in December. Police found the children asleep alone inside the house at night.
Connor is conducting a preliminary inquiry to determine whether Dieal should be committed to stand trial before a judge and jury in the High Court. Sortio is the last witness to testify.
Last week Thursday when he was again a no-show, Connor issued a bench warrant for his arrest. She ordered that he should be granted his own bail of $3,000.
On Friday, Sortio emerged from the holding bay where prisoners and accused people are held. Police declined to disclose whether the policeman, who is assigned to the Gasparillo station, was put in a cell to wait for the case to be called.
Police escorted Sortio to the dock. Dieal, who is on bail, sat in the public gallery.
Connor asked Sortio why he had failed to attend court despite the summonses, and attorney Subhas Panday said Sortio's right foot was injured while he was on duty. He handed a medical certificate from the San Fernando General Hospital to court prosecutor Sgt Ashley Mongroo. Panday explained that Sortio did inform his corporal about his injury.
"He meant no disrespect to the court, my lady," Panday said.
Connor granted Sortio his own bail of $2,000 and ordered him to return on Monday, when she will continue with the inquiry