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Connell to tackle issue of CRD Ltd injunction against Bynoe

Connell to tackle issue of CRD Ltd injunction against Bynoe

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A local lawyer has volunteered to assist Canouan activist Terry Bynoe in resolving the injunction that Canouan Resorts Development (CRD) Ltd has had against him for the past 16 years.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT earlier this week, Bynoe said the offer from lawyer Grant Connell stemmed from an incident that took place last Sunday while he was trying to access Godahl Beach in Canouan.{{more}}

Bynoe explained that he and other Canouan residents had planned an outing at Godahl, and in order to avoid any tension or confrontation, a meeting to discuss accessing the beach through CRD Ltd property had been organized for the day before.

The meeting was attended by Bynoe and another Canouan resident, local police and the head of security at CRD Ltd David Washington.

The activist explained that during the discussion, the matter of the CRD Ltd’s injunction against Bynoe came up, with Washington stating that even if a private home-owner invited Bynoe to his/her residence on CRD property, he would not be allowed to go because of the injunction. Bynoe further said that the discussion became a little heated, and subsequently Washington left prematurely.

On Sunday, when the beachgoers turned up to access Godahl Beach by road, they were pleasantly surprised to find that CRD Ltd had provided a shuttle bus that would take them from the main road, through CRD Ltd property and onto the beach.

However, this delight was short-lived, when it became apparent that Washington, who was driving the shuttle, was not going to allow Bynoe to make the short journey.

He recalled: “I was the last person to get on the bus. I closed the door, the driver of the bus was David Washington again… He said ‘I’m not taking you’… He said I can’t go.”

Complying with the head of security’s instructions, Bynoe disembarked the bus,ß along with the other residents, who were adamant that if Bynoe was not allowed on the shuttle, then they would all get off as well.

He further recalled that the other Canouan residents walked back to the checkpoint entrance of the property, and blocked the entrance for approximately two hours.

“The other natives took another vehicle, and went around to the other side and blocked the other gates as well.”

Lawyer Grant Connell happened to be boating at Godahl Beach that day and soon got wind of the situation. Connell called Bynoe on his mobile phone and asked to speak with the head of security; however, Washington refused to take Connell’s call.

“Grant said ‘well, Terry, let us work on the injunction’,” explained Bynoe.

“I said I ain’t paying to remove no injunction that I didn’t put there. He said he will apply to the court and do it for me for free!”

Eventually, the Canouan activist persuaded the residents to desist from blocking the entrances, and told them to take the shuttle to the beach, and he would meet them there by boat.

Since last weekend’s incident, Bynoe indicated that Connell had made contact with the lawyers who represent CRD Ltd.

“They are dealing with the matter to see where we go from here… I hope that it will be heard in quick time now.”

Bynoe noted that he finds it strange that the matter of the injunction had not been dealt with over the last 16 years.

“I did find it strange in the sense that the judge who issued the injunction in the High Court at the time left St Vincent about a week or two after, but there must have been a replacement judge… and this file would obviously be on the desk of the replacement judge.

“Why was it never called? Why was it kept shuffling, going underneath in those files? It makes you wonder what is really going on with the justice system… I find it rather strange and ironic, seriously!”

Connell could not be reached by time of publication; and a public relations official of CCA/CRD told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that the company would release a statement on the matter next week.

In August 2000, tensions came to a head between the developers at CRD Ltd and locals, who objected to the company seemingly being given leeway on not adhering to a 12-point agreement signed by Bynoe, CRD Ltd and then Prime Minister James Mitchell.

At the forefront of the protest action then, Bynoe had found himself in a physical altercation with security personnel on CRD Ltd property, which resulted in him being charged with unlawful entry and assault. These court charges resulted in him being slapped with an injunction that prohibited him from accessing property owned by CRD Ltd.

Last month, fresh tensions were roused after another developer temporarily installed buoys at L’Ance Guyac beach, which restricted access for locals and ‘yachties’. (JSV)

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