Gina Robinson died of blunt force trauma back in April of 2014, but the case won’t be heard now until 2018. That’s because the accused, husband Gilbert Robinson, has made a habit of firing his lawyer just ahead of the trial date.
While out on bail he’s pulled this, which some people are calling a ‘tactic’, now twice, most recently last week.
Friend of Gina’s, Lori McConnell told Global news that she’s dismayed that this has been allowed to happen.
“I’m shocked that this can even be happening. That…2018. It’s absurd that we have to wait this long, and especially for these reasons. The crown is ready to go, the case is ready. So, it’s being delayed for stall tactics.”
McConnell said it’s been a rough go.
“There’s witnesses that are putting their lives on hold. The family has put everything on hold waiting for this to end. We just have to dig in and say, ‘we’re doing this for you,’ we have to.”
President of the Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association Kelly Dawson said this sort of ploy is common, although the accused cannot then use the delay to push for a right-to-speedy-trial dismissal.
He added, the judge ultimately has control over how to proceed.
“So, if there’s a pattern of discharging a lawyer at the last second, and the court concludes this is a tactic as opposed to perhaps an honest disagreement between council and client as to how to run the case, the court may say, ‘no, you’re abusing the process. This case is proceeding, I’ll help you as best I can.'”
In circumstances like these, Dawson said, it’s up to the judge whether or not to proceed.
“It’s allowed, in proper circumstances to ensure the accused gets a fair trial. Somebody’s charged with sexual assault or a murder case, it’s in front of a jury, the reality of them being able to effectively represent themselves is very very low.”
For the next two years, at least, Gilbert Robinson will remain free on bail.