Former cop’s manslaughter appeal delayed
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: May 17, 2013
A former cop’s challenge to his manslaughter conviction for the death of a suspect has been postponed to June 4.
Donovan Gardiner, 40, was fired from the police force last year after a jury found him responsible for the death of Desmond Key.
Key, 28, was rushed to hospital hours after his arrest on June 17, 2007 after Gardiner allegedly beat him with a bat in a holding cell at the Grove Police Station.
Key died in hospital from complications caused by pancreatitis (a swollen pancreas) on January 19, 2008.
Gardiner, who worked as a policeman for 22 years, appeared before the appellate court yesterday to appeal his conviction and 10-year sentence.
However, the appellate panel headed by President Justice Anita Allen could not hear the appeal because Anthony Delaney, the lawyer who appeared for the Crown, submitted his legal authorities late.
Allen said that practice directions on when skeleton arguments should be filed were routinely disregarded by the defense and the prosecution.
The case was first put off on March 27 because Gardiner’s lawyer, Wayne Munroe, had served his submissions late because he received the trial transcripts late.
As a result, the Crown did not have an opportunity to file counter-arguments.
Munroe said he planned to question the trial judge’s failure to give a good character direction during her summation.
He said the judge fell into error by sentencing for manslaughter when her summation focused on the lesser charge of manslaughter by negligence.
Gardiner remains in Her Majesty’s Prisons.