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Accused’s ex-girlfriend gives evidence in Joseph murder trial

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As the Peter Joseph murder trial continues into its second week, ex-girlfriend of murder accused Webster Woodley took the stand to give evidence in the matter.{{more}}

Woodley, Michael Samuel and Sheldon Bain all stand accused for the murder of Joseph, a taxi operator on November 30, 2004 at Cane Hall.

Melissa Lee, mother of two of Woodley’s two children, told the court that in 2004 she went to live with Woodley at his two-storey apartment in Cane Hall along with her two children. Lee said that when she met Woodley, he told her that he used to traffic drugs. Lee described her relationship with Woodley as abusive and said that he would constantly beat her up and even threatened to kill her on numerous occasions.

Lee added that Rinella Clarke, another woman with whom Woodley had a child also came to live there with them at the apartment. She admitted that things got worse as time went by and Woodley abused both women physically and verbally. “He started having sex with both of us and he would also have sex with other girls in front of me and Rinella,” Lee went on to say.

The young woman added that Woodley also brought Grenadian Sheldon Bain, Bain’s girlfriend and Selwyn “Thick Skin” Moses to live there with them. She noted that the third accused, Michael Samuel was a frequent visitor to the house. She mentioned that while living there, Woodley was the owner of three guns which she described as a Mac 11, a nine-millimeter and another gun. Lee said that it was accused Samuel who brought the Mac 11 gun for Woodley. She said that all the guns were stored in a hole in the ceiling.

As she gave her lengthy evidence before a packed courtroom, Lee mentioned that on the night of the murder, Woodley told her that he and Syndicate (Michael Samuel) were going on a scene. When the prosecution asked what she meant by “going on a scene”. Lee said Woodley told her that he had rent to pay and that the babies needed milk and pampers. The witness stated that Bain and his girlfriend, Samuel and Moses all left with Woodley that night. Lee said that she and Clarke went to the back porch and saw Samuel’s silver two-door car leave.

About 2 a.m. the following morning, Lee said Woodley pounded on the door and asked why she took so long to open it. At that point, Lee told the court that Woodley accused her of having been having sex. But she denied this.

Lee went on to say that Woodley told her that they didn’t get any money because the man was broke and that they had to shoot him because he was giving them “too much of chats”. “He (Woodley) said he shoot up the car first with the man inside but realised he didn’t die, so he pulled him out of the car and shot him several times,” Lee recalled.

Later that morning, Lee said Woodley told her to turn on the radio to hear the news and that was when she heard that a taxi driver was murdered at Cane Hall. Lee added that when Bain and Woodley heard the news they began laughing.

At that point Lee said she became even more afraid for her life and wanted to get out of the house. She admitted that it was accused Bain who had helped her to escape on December 1. The witness said she and Clarke packed a bag around midday while Bain was on the lookout on the back porch to see if Woodley was coming. Lee then said that while walking quickly along the public road, a man in a car stopped and offered them a ride, which they took and went to Clarke’s residence at Redemption Sharpes.

The defence in the matter consisting of Stephen Williams, Kay Bacchus Browne and Nicole Sylvester all accused the witness of lying under oath and said that she was only out to get back at Woodley. The defence also raised several issues with the two statements given by Lee. The matter continues at the High Court.