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Magistrate issues summons for witness in case with Pastor, family

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The Star Witness for the Crown in a case in which a pastor, his wife and daughter are charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm has been issued a summons after he failed to turn up in court.

The summons compels Clint Antoine to appear before magistrate Rickie Burnett at the Mesopotamia Magistrate’s Court on April 21, 2017.

Antoine failed to turn up on January 13, 2017 and again, last Friday, February 24.

In April 2016, Pastor Nigel Morgan, his wife Althea and their daughter Crystal, all residents of Hopewell, pleaded not guilty to unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Cuthbert ‘Mafia’ Victory of Prospect, formerly of Caruth Village.

Their actions became the subject of public scrutiny after a 54-second video showing the family’s alleged assault on the 37-year-old mason sometime after 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at Hopewell, was published on social media.

The video, which was reposted on SEARCHLIGHT’s Facebook page, shows Victory struggling to free himself from the grasp of a man and a woman while standing in a large gutter. At one point, a young lady stands over the trio and pours a liquid from a silver kettle on to Victory’s body.

When investigating officer PC Toney took the stand on January 13, he 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.

Last Friday, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, counsel for the Morgans, asked the magistrate to throw out the case after the court was informed that Antoine did not turn up for a second time.

However, her application was denied and Burnett allowed an application made by senior prosecutor Adolphus Delpesche to issue a compelling warrant ordering the star witness to come before the court.

The court also heard that last Friday morning before trial began, Antoine communicated that he was not interested in giving his testimony. Delpesche, however, told the court that in the interest of fairness, he wanted to exhaust all options available to the Crown to get their star witness to testify.

So far, evidence given by both police officers and Victory, the virtual complainant, shows that Antoine’s testimony is pertinent to the case. The line of questioning taken by Bacchus-Baptiste suggests that the family’s actions were taken after they had been provoked.

On January 13, Bacchus-Baptiste also accused a police officer of being biased, after he admitted to having omitted “salient” information from a witness statement.

However, speaking with reporters outside of the court last Friday, Delpesche said that although a summons had to be issued to Antoine, he does not think that the Crown’s case is in jeopardy.(AS)

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