Mary Francis wants inquest into death at sea

Human Rights Activist, Mary Francis, has called for an inquest into the death at sea of Dennery resident,  Yves Mitchel James.

Relatives of the deceased claimed that he was shot dead by the police.

(Yves Mitchel James)

The police on the other hand, have said that the thirty-three year old died after  a local fishing canoe with three persons on board collided with a Marine Unit vessel on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at around 1:00 a.m.

“Prior to the collision, several attempts were made to stop said vessel, but to no avail,” a police statement said.

Mary Francis believes there must be an inquest into the matter because there seem to be two versions of the incident.

Francis, who is he Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights, said instead of the police carrying out an internal investigation then passing the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, there is need for an independent probe.

She told the Times that the Coroners Act should be amended to provide for a Coroner with an independent team of investigators separate from the police.

“Unless we have that we cannot say that the whole system is transparent,” the outspoken Attorney at Law declared.

She observed that reforms take too long in this country.

Francis noted that her remarks were coming against the backdrop of the OECS Supreme Court observing its 50th anniversary this year.

“There will be jubilation this weekend with a big dinner – yes it is good to congratulate ourselves, clap our hands and  drink and clink our glasses, but what have we accomplished?” She told the Times.

Although noting that there have been accomplishments, Francis said there was need for reflection.

“It is a shame that after 50 years there is still no real access to justice for the poor,” she lamented.

Relatives of Yves Mitchel James claimed that he was shot at close range by the police.

“They shot him in his head – close range,” Colette Burin, the girlfriend of the deceased told reporters earlier this week prior to the release of the post mortem results by the police.

She called on the authorities to ensure that police officers stop killing innocent people.

Chaline James, a cousin of the deceased claimed that the police shot Yves Mitchel James on the water.

“At the end of the day you all got no drugs on the boat, so why did you all kill my cousin?” She demanded, adding that the deceased went fishing to put food on the table for his family, including three children.

(Colette Burin (l) and Chaline James)

A police statement  Wednesday said that on Monday, July 24, 2017, a post mortem examination was conducted.

It revealed that Yves Mitchel James died as a result of traumatic brain injury evidenced by “global subarachnoid haemorrhage” or bleeding around the brain and cerebral contusion (bruising of the brain) secondary to “comminuted fractures to the cranium”.

The police statement added that investigations are continuing into the matter.



  1. Anonymous
    July 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Here she goes….

    1. Anonymous
      July 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      Doing her job which is vital! Maybe one day you may understand.

      1. Anonymous
        July 27, 2017 at 3:23 pm

        Right..responding to certain cases…turning a blind eye to some. I am not against her work.. I think there needs to be less partiality

      2. Anonymous
        July 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm

        I know right….it boggles my mind how some people just can’t seem to understand the value of the work Mary Francis is doing. She’s not saying that the police was wrong. She’s simply saying that the incident must be properly investigated so that everything is clear. Anyone would want the same thing if they were the victims. I’m sure the family of the boat incident victims used to criticize Mary Francis too.

  2. Justice
    July 27, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Did the canoe collide with the Marine Police vessel or did the Police vessel ram the canoe thereby causing the death of the Dennery resident?
    That is the question that Mary Francis wants answered. Good job Mary.

    1. Vibz
      July 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm


      That’s a very pertinent question. I also wholeheartedly endorse your complete comments. Anytime there is lost of human life there must be a thorough investigation to find real cause(s) surrounding the demise of that person. The unthankful and unrewarding work that Mary Francis does is quite commendable. There are some supremely ignorant people who get superlative pleasure from ridiculing and demonizing this civic minded lady. Those who criticize her are chronically daft and unwilling to learn. Keeping advocating for the rights of the hapless, Mary, pay no attention to your dull-witted detractors.

    2. Wendel
      July 28, 2017 at 2:25 am

      There’s no way a canoe can ram into a Marine vessel. We need Justice and bring those officers in for questioning . No one is above the Law of the country not even Trump. Carrying drugs or anything else is not a crime we talking about human lives here , and as an Ex-Military soldier I have learn’t in the Army your weapon is your last resort. Do your Maths and know who are the criminals in the government. Only saying and people support the Human right officer think she answering our questions on our behalf. Also internal affairs need to investigate crooks police men

  3. Tanji
    July 27, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    smh! Mary you need an inquest into what happened to your eyebrows choopz…

    1. Anonymous
      July 27, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Leave Mary Francis alone. You need an inquest to find out what’s wrong with your brain.

  4. Anonymous
    July 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Oh…my…God….when will we start respecting each other Mary has not said any thing wrong..wouldnt you want her to do the same for you.or your family members?

  5. Really lady
    July 27, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I fail to understand the necessity of her request. Anytime there is a death on island, irrespective of the circumstances an application for a warrant to bury must be made before a magistrate before that individual is buried. The magistrate would be provided with all the facts of the case which would compromise of the police investigation file and doctors findings. A determination would be made by this special magistrate called a coroner as to whether the death warrants an inquest or natural death took place. In cases such as suicides, inquests are conducted. If the magistrate is not satisfied that there is no suspicion surrounding the case, an inquest is ordered. Sometimes, in the event of a homicide, this request is made by the DPP and an inquest is conducted. In any unnatural death, accidents, homicides, suicides, etc. An inquest is conducted where no criminal charges are preferred. Mary Francis should go so and quit misleading the citizenry… She is in no position to request an inquest and an inquest is automatic in such matters. We need to educate ourselves so people don’t take us for a ride. Anyone willing to read and know for themselves can have a look at the coroner’s act!

    1. Anonymous
      July 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      Thanks for your Lawyerly input.

    2. Anon1
      July 28, 2017 at 9:34 am

      The Magistrate should be given all the facts, emphasis on the word SHOULD.

    3. The One
      July 28, 2017 at 11:45 am

      Thank you lady for pointing this out to those idiots out there who think they know more than everyone else, including Mary Francis.

  6. Anonymous
    July 27, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Crazy everyone!

  7. Simply put
    July 27, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    ‘Really Lady’ thank you so much. If persons still don’t understand then something really wrong with their logic. Doctor and Magistrates are not police officers. The Doctor gave a cause of death yet the family comes up with another. Just fishing huh. Ok then

  8. Anonymous
    July 27, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    Awa she not the answer to anything but nonsense. And if u wanna believe er there u all jus as blind. Pick n choose miss Francis but turn your eye on the real issues. A real modern day hypocrite you are deh pick n continue to choose where you speak up. JA

  9. Curious
    July 27, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Mary is not asking for anything a decent civilized and law abiding country would not do. An inquest? But that is mandatory and basic under these circumstances.
    Only in shady countries will governments want to skirt following proper and lawful procedures.

    What happen to all the inquests that never got off the ground or have been stuck?

    Weh is Shaka Dan and the Cul de Sac explosion. All a big show and dead as the very victims.

  10. Anonymous
    July 28, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Mary you were very selective with your cases. You never spoke about the 76 year old lady from marisule who was killed in her house after being brutally raped.
    Mary Mary quite contrary

  11. Anonymous
    July 28, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Mary needs to retire

  12. Anonymous
    July 28, 2017 at 8:34 am

    The commentor who said he’s an ex-military soldier who knows all about army was he an officer in the salvation army who never fight one war .some people just don’t know when to quite

  13. Anonymous
    July 28, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Look Mary Francis is always doing her job every time a criminal get his ass kicked.when a respectable citizen is hurt you never hear her voice. What the hell was a fishing boat doing at sea at this time of night. All those crying for him answer that for me please. This guy was always up to no good. When a guy like this get a taste of his own medicine I cannot feel sorry for him. Live by the sword,die by the sword

  14. The One
    August 2, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Mary Francis is on no position to ask for any inquest. An inquest is ordered either by a judge or a coroner as they see fit not Mary Francis. This woman have been fooling St.Lucians for a long time making them think has the authority to do things she knows as a lawyer she cannot.