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Penniston’s future hangs in balance

Penniston’s future  hangs in balance


Angus Penniston’s future hangs in the balance as the curtains on his manslaughter trial quickly come to a close at the High Court.{{more}}

Penniston, 30, of Port Elisabeth, Bequia, stands accused of causing the death of 50-year-old Sandy Bay resident, Vinnie “Brooco” Baptiste on August 12, 2007, in Bequia. A post mortem report revealed that Baptiste died from blunt trauma to the chest.

The crown, led by Director of Public Prosecutions Colin Williams, closed their case on Tuesday after a total of six witnesses were called to testify in the matter. The prosecution had alleged that the accused boxed the deceased in his chest where he fell and died.

One prosecution witness, Shirley Gordon, also of Bequia, told the court that she left her house around 7:30 p.m. to go down the road when she saw the body of an old man lying in a six-inch deep trench nearby. Gordon said she noticed that froth was protruding from the corner of the deceased mouth. Gordon took Baptiste out of the trench and placed him on the side of the road. She further stated that the accused was also met there with a bottle of water, washing the face of Baptiste. Gordon, who had left the scene and returned with her niece, a student nurse, said that her niece checked the pulse of Baptiste and discovered that he was still alive.

Key prosecution witness, Veldica Charles, who had gone to Bequia to spend the weekend, said that she met the defendant that night when he and Baptiste got into an argument. Referring to Baptiste as the “Old Man”, Charles, who said she was sitting near a telephone pole close to “Brooks Hideout”, added that she saw Penniston slap Baptiste and had him staggering. “Then he hit the old man a blow in his head with his hand, then he tell him let we go home,” Charles stated. The Spring Village woman noted that while walking in front of Baptiste, the accused turned around and “hit him a blow in his chest and the old man held his chest and fall to the side of the road,” Charles recalled. It was while on the ground that Penniston tried washing the deceased face with water. Charles said Penniston came to where she was sitting and told her that he wanted to speak with her. “He told me not to tell anyone, and I told him I was vex and I didn’t like what he did to the old man.”