As 80-year-old Mme Jacqueline Lacoste, mother of the late Christian Lacoste, sat waiting in the hot sun with other relatives and friends of his late son, to attend the first Preliminary Inquiry to the death of Christian Lacoste, it appears Lawyer Nigel Morrison, who is being charged for causing his death by reckless driving was given the opportunity not to appear in open Court.
The matter was listed for open Court on Monday, April 15th, at 10 am however it has appeared that the PI was allowed to be it dealt with in closed court chambers.
It appears that Mr. Morrison may have received preferential treatment different than a usual person charged before the Court would receive, and has in a way prevented himself from facing the families and friends of the late Christian Lacoste.
There was a large contingent of media at the Magistrates Court to report on the proceedings but unfortunately, all were left dismayed as to the apparent treatment shown to the Lawyer.
Needless to say, the family who waited in the hot sun patiently had a right to listen in open Court were left ill-informed and completely unaware that Mr. Morrison would not be appearing.
The Court would not advise as to the outcome of the hearing behind closed doors and or the next date.
Lawyer Nigel Morrison is also a member of the Vanuatu Law Council.
As a member of the Vanuatu Law Council, Mr. Nigel Morrison is responsible for overseeing the admission and referral of complaints regarding Lawyers.
The Vanuatu Law Council has yet to suspend him from the Council as he is directly involved in the death of another person, and whilst being a member of the Vanuatu Law Council, Mr. Nigel Morrison actions do raise questions to the integrity and neutrality of the Vanuatu Law Council especially now when he is being given a preferential treatment.
Mr. Nigel Morrison has told the court that he won’t be available in the next plea date due to a commitment overseas, but he will take his plea on the next plea date in June.
Whilst Mr. Nigel Morrison is still able to plan his trips and commitments and even has the opportunity to hide away from the late Christian Lacoste 80-year-old Mother, the families, and friends of the deceased all hope there is a ray of light for justice.
Whilst Mr. Morrisson was standing in closed doors in the courtroom, the mother of the late Lacoste was sitting on the footpath in front of the Supreme Court not knowing what is happening with her son’s case, as she was not allowed to attend the hearings.
Every parent needs closure when their child dies and the Justice system in Vanuatu must never deny parents the right to information especially when it involves their own flesh and blood and it is a shameful act by Mr. Morrison to provide himself an advantage over a grieving mother.
The wife of the late Christian Lacoste, Sherbernia Lacoste says ‘That cowardly lawyer knew that l would be overseas and set that date to make sure that I and my daughters wouldn’t be able to attend the hearing. It’s a disgrace how they let him choose the date of this hearing and to change it from open court to closed court chambers. And I am now left with my two daughters 11 years and 15 years of age. Can the court give me the justice to this case?’
As a member of the Vanuatu Law Council, Mr. Nigel Morrison holds himself to higher standards, no matter the circumstances and should by example show he is a man worthy of representing and defending the laws of the Republic of Vanuatu.
The cowardice act of hiding, and not allowing a grieving mother an opportunity to hear her sons case is a shameful act not only for Mr. Nigel Morriosn but for the Vanuatu Law Council as he is a member and does represent them wherever he is.
It is understood Mr. Nigel Morrison won’t be available for the next plea date but Mme Jacqueline Lacoste will attend and is hopeful it will be an open court so she can attend the case of her late son, Christian Lacoste.
Mr. Nigel Morrison is a partner at Ridgeway Blake Firm, and there is news, that the President of the Republic, Obed Moses Tallis has confirmed he will take the recent Constitution Amendment approved in Parliament to court for its opinion and has recommended Ridgeway Blake Firm to represent his Office.
Given the status of the Ridgeway Blake Law Firm, it is indeed a shame, for one of its partners to treat a mother in such a manner.