Another Christmas in jail for Noel Maitland

NOEL Maitland, the policeman accused of killing his girlfriend Donna-Lee Donaldson in July 2022, will spend a second Christmas in jail.

Maitland, who was arrested on July 27, 2022, was again remanded in custody when he appeared in the Supreme Court Wednesday and and his next court date set for January 17, 2024.

His attorney Christopher Townsend was scheduled to enter a renewed bail application; however, prosecutors said that plans to apply for bail again were abandoned.

Maitland was denied bail in October last year, at which time witness interference was cited as one factor for the decision.

Judge Vinnette Graham-Allen said at the time that the court was satisfied that there were substantial grounds to believe that if Maitland was released on bail, he “would fail to surrender to custody, commit an offence while on bail, interfere with witnesses and otherwise obstruct the course of justice”. Graham-Allen said that there were no conditions that could adequately manage the risks.

Maitland’s legal team had later indicated that they would be renewing the bail application on the grounds that their client’s health was deteriorating, but declined to go forward with it on Wednesday. During his appearance in court on Wednesday, Maitland was dressed in a business suit, but had a worried look on his face inside the courtroom, especially at the point when the police were putting handcuffs on him in order to lead him back to jail.

Sophia Lugg, Donaldson’s mother, was present at the Supreme Court on Wednesday but was not allowed inside the courtroom for the hearing. Justice Graham-Allen said that she hadn’t allowed Maitland’s father inside the court, so it was only fair to do the same for Lugg.

Prosecutors in the matter told Judge Graham-Allen on Wednesday that the case file is ready to proceed to trial. But, before a trial date can be set, prosecutors said they will need more time to prepare the list of witnesses in the case and serve it to the defence team. Judge Graham-Allen was told that the prosecutors will need at least two weeks to hand over the list.

The prosecutors said they were awaiting three statements in the matter but, based on how things have been going, they are ready to proceed without them.

Townsend, meanwhile, complained that his client was being targeted and sabotaged by a policeman whom he said was present in the courtroom on Wednesday.

“My client has asked me to inform the court that he is being affected significantly by the actions of this particular sergeant in court who is actually trampling on his rights. He is being victimised in custody by this sergeant,” Townsend said.

Graham-Allen responded, “I am not in charge of the sergeant. That information can be put in writing to the persons in charge of the sergeant, the commissioner of police and the deputy commissioner of police. He is a police officer. He should know who that should be addressed to, certainly not to this court. You can put his concerns in writing to the appropriate persons.”

Constable Maitland is accused of murdering and unlawfully disposing the corpse of his social media personality girlfriend Donaldson in July 2022.

Donaldson was last seen in Maitland’s company on July 11, 2022 at his Chelsea Manor apartment in New Kingston. She was reported missing on July 13 last year. According to the police, they found a wealth of circumstantial evidence to convince them that Donaldson was dead and that she was killed on July 12, 2022 between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm.