By:St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-The Magistrate Court in Charlestown, District C Nevis resumed its usual sitting on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 before Her Honor Yasmine Clarke.
Allan Broadbelt sentenced to three years imprisonment at the District ‘C’ Magistrates Court
The first matter to be heard was that of Allan Broadbelt a resident of Bath Village. He was charged for larceny and pled guilty to the charge.
According to Police Prosecutor, Eurita Percival, on Thursday, April 7, 2016 a raid was conducted on the property of the defendant in Bath Village.
The Prosecution’s first witness was Mr. Errol Blake. He told the Court that on the day in question, he received a call from a worker that two trucks loaded with what appeared to be stolen goods and both were parked by the police station in Charlestown. Blake noted that he came and searched both trucks to see if his stolen tools were among the items, but he found nothing. He stated that he saw Inspector Carty and the defendant and since he knew that the police force was looking for young men to join its ranks, he thought that Broadbelt was a recruit.
Blake also noted that he knew Broadbelt from a very early age coming to church with his mother. He said that when they were renovating the Chapel Church, Broadbelt was working with them and he was a very ardent worker and it is really hurtful to see him in this position. Blake was of the view, that the defendant got caught up in the wrong company and was influenced to do wrong things. He said that Broadbelt apologized to him for what he did.
The defendant, Allan Broadbelt also addressed the Court and pled for leniency. Broadbelt told Her Honor, Magistrate Clarke that he knew he made a mistake and pledged to be a better person in society once given a chance. He noted that he wanted to return to the society in order to get his life back on track.
However, Her Honor was not interested in the defendant’s plea and sentenced him to serve three years in prison.
Vincent Williams cautioned for carrying an offensive weapon
Vincent Williams of Cotton Ground Village appeared before the Court on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Williams was charged with carrying an offensive weapon. He pled not guilty to the allegation.
According to the Prosecution, on Saturday, October 15, 2016 the defendant was at a shop on the opposite side of the Charlestown Police Station. He got into an argument with someone and pulled a machete and as a result of that, the charge was brought against him.
The Prosecution’s sole witness was Constable Asif Rohoman. The officer noted that he was standing outside the door of the police station and saw what appeared to be an argument on the other side. He told the Court, that he went over and saw a male with a red T-shirt holding the defendant by the arm and took him outside the bar. Rohoman said that whilst approaching the bar, he saw Williams pulled up his shirt, took out a cutlass and turned towards the bar. He indicated that a male individual was next to the defendant and the male pulled the defendant by the neck onto the floor.
The Officer noted that he saw the blade swung while it was in the hands of Williams and he took it away from him. He stated, that he asked the male to keep restraining Williams so he could have secured the cutlass. Rohoman said he then proceeded and took the defendant into the Charlestown Police Station. He noted that Williams was charged on the following day, and was given a copy of the charge.
The defendant told the Court that he had just arrived into town and went by the bar. He indicated, that he had a drink from the lady who owns the bar and he was whispering something in her ear when he felt a hard shove from the side. He said that when he turned around, a lady gave him one slap in his face and asked him if he wanted another one. Williams said the lady who slapped him, went and call the police after he took out the machete. Her Honor asked the defendant if he was going to use it and he responded and said he had no intentions to use it he was just defending himself. Williams said that he figured once the lady saw the cutlass, she was not going to come back close to him.
In making her decision, Her Honor cautioned the defendant and told him that he was free to leave.
Man charged $500.00 for beating his wife
The final matter before the District ‘C’ Magistrate Court on Thursday was Alston Phillips of Hamilton Estate. He was charged for beating his wife Cassandra Phillips. The defendant pled not guilty to the charge.
The Prosecution stated that on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 the defendant beat his wife at their residence at Hamilton Estate.
The Prosecution’s first witness was Cassandra Phillips. She indicated that on the day in question, the accused called her on the phone to open the side door and she obliged. She noted that she was upstairs at the time and the defendant was downstairs. Mrs. Phillips said that she went back to bed, and shortly after she saw the defendant standing over her saying he had proof of her cheating on him. She said at that point she rolled over and told him, “That is your business” and the defendant took her phone and she grabbed his shirt.
Mrs. Phillips said that the accused started calling her, “Bitch and whore” and told her that she won’t get back her phone. The witness said that they started struggling to gain possession of the phone and she pinched him and he hit her on the hand in the process. She told the Court, that her daughter joined her in the struggle to get her phone and the defendant struck her a second time. She said that at that point, she reached and scratched him in his face and the defendant struck her with the fan in her waist and exited the room. She said that after the defendant left she called the police and they went downstairs and found him hiding in the bathroom.
Defense lawyer for the defendant, Ms. Natasha Grey, cross-examined the witness. The lawyer asked Mrs. Phillips if this was the first time she has brought the defendant before the Court. Phillips said it was the first time pertaining to an incident as such but she has brought him there before for several other incidents. Ms. Grey told the witness that she was the aggressor in the altercation because she was the one who grabbed the defendant by his shirt. Mrs. Phillips said that she was not the aggressor and she only grabbed his shirt because he took her phone.
The Prosecution’s second witness was Officer Aquilla Maloney. Officer Maloney noted that on the day in question, she saw and spoke to the accused at his workplace at Blessings Cuisine. She indicated that she identified herself to the defendant and told him that she was making inquiries into a report made by his wife, where she alleged that he had beaten her. The Officer said she cautioned the defendant and he replied and said, “I did not beat her”.
The defendant Alston Phillips, also testified before the Court. He pointed out, that he saw his wife’s phone underneath her pillow and because she doesn’t normally sleep with it underneath her pillow, he got suspicious and took up the phone. The accused noted that after he took the phone his wife grabbed his shirt and tore it off. Mr. Phillips indicated that he never laid his hands on his wife before she is the one who is always hitting him. He continued, “Even when we are driving and something happens, she will just hit me just like that. She has done that a lot of times”. The defendant said that both of them had agreed not to press charges, but his wife went behind his back and pressed charges.
In her address to the Court, Attorney Grey, appearing for the defendant told Her Honor that the case was a simple matter and the facts are clear. She said that the version of events that were outlined by the defendant were the truth. She told Her Honor that the victim’s daughter was there but she never called her to say what had transpired. Ms. Grey was also of the perspective that the Prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond all reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty. She noted that the accused admitted to taking his phone and she came after him. She continued, “They are husband and wife and hid nothing from each other”. In closing, Ms. Grey noted that the defendant should be acquitted of the charge due to insufficient evidence against him.
Prosecutor, Mrs. Eurita Percival, told the Court that the defendant got angry and beat up his wife because he suspected her of cheating. She indicated that if he did not beat her up then there would have been no reason for him to go in the bathroom and hide. Prosecutor Percival also pointed out that there is no way that the defendant would have just stayed there and allow his wife to beat him up without retaliating.
Her Honor found the defendant guilty as charged and fined him $500.00 EC dollars to be paid in one month. If he refuses to pay, he will serve three (3) months in prison.