Wife of Cornelius John tells court she has no fear of her husband
CORNELIUS JOHN’S wife Nicole John claimed that when her husband was arguing with her not to come out of her residence on the afternoon of April 13, she went on her bed to play the online game ‘Candy Crush’.
The supposed violent behaviour of Cornelius John was an area of heavy focus during the defence’s cross examination of Nicole, who had testified earlier during the trial about events leading up to, during and after her husband being shot outside his home in Diamond on April 13 (https://searchlight. vc/news/2021/11/19/ wife-of-shooting-victimtakes- stand/). Last Thursday November 18, Senator Ashelle Morgan and Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions(DPP) Karim Nelson, who were both charged in connection with this incident were acquitted when the trial ended at the Mesopotamia Magistrates Court, sitting at Calliaqua.
Magistrate Bertie Pompey handed down the court’s verdict which saw Morgan being freed of a charge of criminal assault, and Nelson of wounding and unlawful discharge of a firearm charges.
Up until that point, and in order to facilitate a fair trial, the media was ordered not to report on the evidence in the case.
Nicole was the fourth witness to take the stand, and she testified on Friday, November 12. She was cross examined on Monday, November 15 by counsel for Nelson, Ronald Marks, and counsel for Morgan, Duane Daniel.
In his questioning, Marks asked the wife why she didn’t reveal in her evidence-in-chief on November 12 all of the threats her husband made over the phone on April 13, and why, until Daniel asked her about it specifically, she didn’t also mention that her husband threatened to sacrifice her head and blood and children to the devil.
Nicole responded that she wasn’t going into detail.
“Let me put it to you that the reason you didn’t say that is because you’re trying to protect your husband. You are terrified of him. What do you say?” the lawyer asked.
Nicole said she was not protecting her husband.
The defence counsel then asked the wife about when she was dropped home by the Senator on the afternoon of April 13, after the two of them completed the relief work they were doing in connection with the volcanic eruptions. At the time Cornelius John was said to be outside the premises arguing.
There are two gates to the house at which Nicole was staying and she had told Morgan to drop her at the top gate.
It was put to her that she is accustomed to getting dropped off by the bottom gate, but the wife denied this saying that it was normal for her to use that other gate.
In her testimony, John’s wife had said she sent someone to get water from Morgan. Marks asked her why she didn’t get it herself at the same time they had stopped by the top gate.
“Because when he was arguing I just anxious to hear what everything he was saying,” she replied, adding, “because I know what he was saying it wasn’t called for because we had no argument before.”
She was asked, “So you run and leave the water to hear what he was saying?” She replied that she didn’t run and leave it.
Marks rephrased the question and asked if she left the water to hear what her husband was saying, and Nicole confirmed that she wanted to hear.
Marks questioned if it didn’t make sense to go closer if she wanted to hear what was being said.
The wife said that her husband was loud enough.
“You didn’t go close to him because you was frightened like cat, you were ‘fraid,” Marks submitted.
She replied, “I’ve never been scared of my husband.”
During his arguing, Cornelius John is said to have commanded his wife not to leave the house. The lawyer asked her what she did when her husband said this.
“I went to my bed to play Candy Crush,” she said.
“Because you yourself were afraid of being crushed?” the counsel returned.
“No I failed to give him that attention. I refused to give him that attention. So I went and played Candy Crush on my bed,” the wife said.
Highlighting Cornelius’ supposed violent past, Marks also put it to the wife that there was an incident where the windows in their matrimonial house had been broken out. Nicole replied that that was “long before.”
The lawyer noted that there was a police officer in the courtroom at that very moment who was the same officer who attended to the report about her husband “mashing up everything in the house.”
But Nicole said, “Certain things happened, that was years ago,” and it was not pertaining to this incident, emphasising “this”.
Marks also mentioned an incident that took place prior to Nicole and the children moving out of the matrimonial home on December 31, 2020.
She said that she didn’t have to move out because of the incident, “The Officer gave me a choice, ‘you want to stay or you want to leave’, I choose to leave.”
Marks asked her if her husband had beaten one of their sons with a hammer, and she replied “Not to my knowing.”
“But he was beating one with a bucket?” the lawyer said.
“He didn’t beat him with a bucket,” the wife responded.
“What he do, he caressed him gently with the bucket?,” Marks inquired.
Nicole said he hit him, but didn’t beat him.
“Let me put it to you that that course of action, that behaviour of your husband is what has you in fear of him up to today, what do you say?” Marks questioned, referring to all of the actions that he had mentioned before.
The witness responded in a firm voice, “I am not afraid of my husband. My husband could be the best husband any woman could get. The best father any woman can get. He does have his shortcomings. He have his shortcomings…” From the evidence tendered, Nicole didn’t go to her husband’s side after finding out he was wounded that evening. She had told counsel Daniel that she didn’t go down because she was with Morgan earlier that day. She further clarified to Marks that her husband was mad at Morgan, so she chose to stay away.
Marks submitted that she was afraid of her husband, even in his wounded state.
“I live with my husband for 25 years, I have no fear of my husband,” she responded.
The cross examination also touched on the fact that she reported her husband for threats to her on April 14, which is the day after the incident.
It was queried why she made this report if she hadn’t taken her husband seriously “as you’re trying to have us believe.”
Nicole responded, “I look at it as my duty to make a complaint in case anything happen.”
She was asked if they gave her a form to fill out concerning domestic violence and the wife replied, “They give me a form to read and said to me, I can go to the Welfare and get a protection order.”
She never got a protection order.