Buddy Gutter couple acquitted of arson and wounding with intent
A COUPLE OF Buddy Gutter, Lowmans Leeward were last week acquitted by a jury, who declared them not guilty of arson and wounding with intent of their neighbour.
The mystery as to who set ablaze Edward ‘Wire’ Durrant’s house and then chopped him about his arms, causing him to receive over 60 stitches, is therefore yet to be solved.
This is after the persons that he had accused of the crimes, Gailene ‘Fire’ Farrell and her husband Calvert ‘Mole’ Charles, were acquitted at the High Court last Friday, October 9.
All parties in the matter have known each other for at least 20 years, and all lived in Buddy Gutter.
However, on the night of November 1, 2017, their relationship, which had been amicable, was forever changed.
Durrant’s version of events is that he was asleep after 11 on that night, when he smelled burning, and saw fire coming from the plywood. He was going outside to where he kept a drum of water, when he received his first chop.
From then, he said that he blocked chops before throwing himself over a bank to the river. Durrant said that he started to cry out and call the names of who were chopping him, because he could see who it was. He alleged that it was ‘Fire’ and ‘Mole’. His attackers, he said, both wore black hoodies and carried cutlasses. He could see them because of the streetlight that was 100 ft away, and because the moon was glowing in the sky above him, he claimed. However, he said, his attackers didn’t say anything when chopping him up.
On the other hand, Durrant’s cousin, who is friendly with all parties, also testified, and he told the court that that night, he went to use the bathroom. He said he heard a voice saying “shut yo mother ****” and “shut to **** up” and also heard dogs barking. The cousin said that he could not place the voice, or tell whether it was male or female.
He was one of the persons who Durrant reported to that night and came to, covered in blood. Durrant also went by one “Tall Girl” who tended to his wounds and called the police.
The investigator for the matter was the late Sergeant Philbert Chambers.
“Tall Girl” described “Mole” as a quiet guy, and that one doesn’t even hear his voice in Buddy Gutter, and asked Durrant if he was sure when he relayed his version of events to her.
A point that threw doubt into the mix, was that Durrant and one “Photo” had supposedly had an argument on the morning of the day of the incident.
Defense counsel Grant Connell apparently put it to the complainant that there was a time when harsh words were exchanged between “Photo” and himself concerning “Photo’s” son, but Durrant responded that this is an allegation. There was a vicious rumour circulating about Durrant and her son, but Durrant said that when “Photo” asked her son about it, he said that it was not true. Durrant admitted he and “Photo” had an argument but contended that they are good friends.
He denied that she told him “I go do for you” on that morning.
Durrant claimed that there was an issue where he took tools from Farrell, and she broke into his house to retrieve them.
The two accused persons were interviewed by the police and video recordings of these interviews were shown.
In the interview Farrell said, when she heard the accusations, that they could never be true and that she and ‘Wire’ were close. She said they were “so” joining her fingers together. Her birthday was November 1, the day of the incident, and she said she had invited ‘Wire’ to come for a drink. She denied any involvement in the incident. When “Photo” told her of the accusation, she told her “them things nah true.”
Charles said he was home that night, and was watching television, American politics, with his son. He said that he never left the house that night. To the accusations, he commented that he would like to hear what Durrant had to say, and what his explanation was, because they “never really had nothing.”
Farrell was cross examined about the tools and she said that it was no problem that he took them from her yard, and that she had not realized they were missing. She said she did not break into his house, and that the door had no lock so she opened the door and retrieved her things.
Charles revealed more about his activities that night, noting that his wife returned to the home around six in the evening.
They were together that night, and had drinks called “Sting.”
After deliberating, a nine-member jury returned not guilty verdicts for Farrell and Charles.
The prosecution was represented by crown counsel Rose-Anne Richardson, and Justice Brian Cottle presided.