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Police officer withholds important evidence

Police officer withholds important evidence

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Lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste has accused a police officer of being partisan, after he admitted to having omitted “salient” information from a witness statement last Friday.

Her accusations came at the Mesopotamia Magistrate’s Court, during a trial in which her clients, pastor Nigel Morgan, his wife Althea and their daughter Crystal, are accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Cuthbert Victory.

The Morgans are charged with assaulting the 37-year-old mason sometime after 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2016, at Hopewell, Mesopotamia. They pleaded not guilty.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, Bacchus-Baptiste said the omitted information was in favour of the defendants and when she asked the policeman why he did not give that evidence in chief, he had no answer.

Last Friday, PC Toney told the court that he was on duty in Mesopotamia on April 11, 2016 about 7:25 p.m., when Morgan arrived at the station and reported to him that Victory had assaulted him.

Toney said he issued medical forms to Morgan and the following day Mrs Morgan arrived at the station wearing a medical bandage on her left wrist, complaining that she felt pain and reporting that she was trying to part her husband and Victory and she was injured in doing so.

The police officer said he also issued her with medical forms.

According to Toney, on April 15, 2016, a witness statement was recorded from Clint Antoine of Hopewell and Victory’s statement and medical form were handed over to Sergeant Bristol for further investigation.

He, however, added that the medical forms issued to the Morgans were not returned to him.

During cross-examination, Toney denied that when Mrs Morgan lodged her report with him she also told him that Victory had slapped her and spat on her. The police officer, however, noted that Mrs Morgan had told him that Victory had pulled her by her hair towards a gutter and that during that struggle she had injured her hand.

It was at that time that Bacchus-Baptiste, counsel to the Morgans, told Toney that he never mentioned this in his statement.

She asked the officer if there was any reason why he had not told the court in his evidence-in-chief that Mrs Morgan had said that Victory had grabbed her by the hair.

“It might have been left out by mistake,” the officer replied.

Toney further told the court that as part of his investigation, he went to Hopewell and interviewed Cassandra Victory and Clint Antoine, but did not speak to anyone else.

He said he could not recall if the name Quincy Gilbert was ever mentioned to him during his investigation.

“So, you don’t know whose yard they were at?” Bacchus-Browne questioned.

The police officer said the name given to him was not Quincy Gilbert.

“I am putting it to you that you chose who to speak to and what to put in,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.

On Wednesday, the veteran attorney told SEARCHLIGHT that she found it strange that the investigating officer did not interview the owner of the house where the incident began.

However, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche defended the police officer, stating that his actions were not deliberate.

“I wouldn’t chastise them for missing something from the report. They are human beings, they make a mistake.”

The matter will resume on February 23, 2017, when the Crown’s ‘star witness,’ Clint Antoine, is expected to take the stand. (AS)

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