Defence lawyer suggests pastor, family were provoked
When the case, where a pastor, his wife and daughter are accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Cuthbert âMafiaâ Victory, continued last Friday, at the Magistrateâs Court in Mespotamia, defence attorney Kay Bacchus-Baptiste tried to portray the virtual complainant as a nuisance to her clients.
Bacchus-Baptiste represents pastor Nigel Morgan, his wife Althea and their daughter Crystal, all accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Victory, a Prospect resident. 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.
The same day of the assault, a 54-second video surfaced online, showing Victory attempting 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 Victoryâs body.
Since the trial, over which magistrate Rickie Burnette presides, commenced last December, the line of questioning taken by the defence lawyer suggests that the familyâs actions were taken after they had been provoked. But, after missing several court dates, star witness Clint Antoine took the witness stand on Friday and the Biabou residentâs testimony opposed Bacchus-Baptisteâs suggestions.
Antoine, a mason by profession, who moved from Hopewell shortly after the incident, told the court that he has known Victory for about five years and in his opinion, he is not a troublesome person. Antoine said that around 3 or 4 p.m. on April 9, Pastor Morgan came to his gate and asked why he was encouraging Victory in the area.
He said Pastor Morgan claimed that anytime Victory visited the area he harasses him (Pastor Morgan) and his family.
According to Antoine, Pastor Morgan then began to insult Victory, telling him he cannot spell nor count.
At this point Victory, who was playing Vybz Kartelâs âTell me how you like itâ from his jukebox, responded by asking Pastor Morgan why he was âstudyingâ him (Victory) and telling him he must instead âstudy his familyâ.
Antoine said Victory then told him that Pastor Morgan always harasses him.
Antoine said that both men began exchanging words, at which point, Mrs Morgan came out of the house and told Victory to leave her out of it (the argument), while waving her hands in the air.
Antoine said Mrs Morgan then came over to his yard, placed her two hands in the air in front of Victory and said âI plea the blood of Jesus on youâ.
The Crownâs star witness said Victory left and went into the road and Mrs Morgan followed him into the road, where they began cursing.
Antoine said Mrs Morgan then shouted, âBring the thing for meâ and then she said, âBring the gunâ.
He further told the court that while the argument continued, Pastor Morgan stood by the road with a tube bottle in his hand, along with a book and placed his hand on the bottle then on Victoryâs forehead.
Antoine said when this occured, Victory swung his hand and Mrs Morgan held on to him and the two began fighting. He said Mrs Morgan shoved Victory into the drain and he held on to her, causing all three persons to fall into the drain.
The mason said while the Morgans were holding Victory on both sides, Morgan looked around and Crystal entered the fray and began to pour the water on Victory from a silver and black kettle.
He said that when Crystal was finished, Mrs Morgan held on to Victory, swung him and he hit his head on a stone and appeared to be bleeding. He also noted that some children were present and when Crystal finished pouring the liquid she left.
Antoine said he went over to Victory, as the wounded man staggered out of the drain and across the road.
During cross-examination, Bacchus-Baptiste suggested that Victory had slapped Mrs Morgan and that started the fight. However, Antoine refuted this suggestion and told the court that Victory swung his hand when Morgan put his hand on his (Victoryâs) forehead.
Antoine, however, stated that although he didnât hear Victory use any âout of the wayâ language, he did call Morgan a âBullermanâ (an offensive term used for homosexual), who wanted his daughter for himself, which he (Antoine) understood to mean that Morgan wanted to have sex with his own daughter.
Additionally, Bacchus-Baptiste suggested that Morgan tried to stop Victory from playing provocative music from his jukebox and that is when Victory called him a âBullermanâ.
She further suggested that Victory behaved this way in the presence of children; however, Antoine said the children came out when the fight begun.
Antoine said that during the argument Victory said Mrs Morgan was dumb to marry Morgan and both Morgans were âpleading the blood of Jesusâ when Mrs Morgan came outside and said âdonât call my name, leave me outâ.
Bacchus-Baptiste also suggested that Morgan had a bottle of olive oil in his hand and when he tried to âblessâ Victory, he swung at him and so the two tried to restrain an aggressive Victory, who in return slapped Mrs Morgan.
Antoine replied, âYou canât restrain someone and you lashing them.â
Bacchus-Baptiste suggested that Morgan did not assault Victory and that he only asked him to behave and then âplea the blood of Jesusâ.
Antoine said that is not the only thing they said to Victory.
Antoine was the last witness for the prosecution, who closed their case on Friday.
Bacchus-Baptiste sought an adjournment as she was scheduled to appear before the High Court that day.
The trial resumes on June 2, 2017. (AS)