BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 22nd November 2019)– This week, the controversial 2018 traffic offense matter linking allegations about political victimisation concerning suspended Constable Lennox Hodge of the St.Christopher and Nevis Police Force was tossed out of court due to insufficient evidence against him, according to a ruling by Senior Magistrate Reynald Benjamin.
At a sitting on Tuesday 19th November 2019, a no-case submission from the officers legal team comprising of Sylvester Anthony and Angelina Sookoo-Bobb was accepted which saw victory for their client.
This media house had an exclusive interview with officer Hodge.
Read below for details:
REPORTER: How are you feeling following the outcome of the court matter this week?
HODGE: How I feel am feeling? Real happy; justice has been served and I am really grateful that this matter is ending after been home for 14 months on half pay of my salary. I am just excited that it’s all over now. My mind is just set free and ready to continue my duties as a police officer.
REPORTER: How long have you been a police officer and what inspired you to join the force?
HODGE: I have been a police officer over 18 years and what inspired me to become a police officer, from since I was a boy I wanted to be a police to protect my community and make a difference in people’s lives.
REPORTER: How have you been feeling having been off duty (suspended) for this length of time?
HODGE: While off duty all this was a real bad feeling because when I was on duty, every morning I would visit the schools in Nevis and talk to the kids and teachers and it was real nice. The day when I got suspended, it hurt me badly knowing that I can’t see the kids; I can’t do my normal things. I would also go and to do house to house with people from the communities. Knowing that I could not protect and serve my beloved people patrol the streets at nights, the suspension did lot to me emotionally. I miss what I love to do I have no malice in my heart for anyone. I just want to continue to protect and serve my people and my country on a whole.
As understood, Officer Hodge who hails from the community of St. Paul’s in St.Kitts was transferred to Nevis in early part of 2015 after the general elections and was working in Nevis until he got suspended.
He was charged for Driving Without a Valid and Unexpired Driver’s License and for Driving Without Insurance on September 20, 2018-the day after the nation’s Independence Day. He had received bail in the sum of $10,000.
The opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) holds the view that officer Hodge was targeted because of the close relation he has with opposition leader Dr.Denzil Douglas, the immediate former Prime Minister, whom officer Hodge reportedly drove to the Warner Park grounds for the annual ceremonial parade on 19th September 2018.
“What is more questionable is that Hodge was not stopped while he was driving. Hodge works in Nevis. He was off on Independence Day [19th September]. He was off duty when he was back at his job on the next day. He was called to down to St. Kitts in his uniform to be arrested for driving with an expired license the day before,” commented Party Deputy Leader Marcella Liburd during a press conference held in September 2018.
Liburd, who is a lawyer by profession, also questioned the means and procedures that was used to garner information about Hodge’s license since he was not stopped while driving.
“…More outrageous… How is it that they know his license was expired? They were determined that Hodge should be punished for driving Dr. Douglas!”, she said also.
When asked during the interview about whether or not he thinks he was victimised, officer Hodge was tight- lipped and referred to his lawyer in getting a reply for such.
As to what will happen next in relation to his job, however, he is in waiting mode for the time being.