Andrew Foyle leaves the Kingstown’s Magistrate Court on Friday, his 76th birthday. (iWN photo)

A Canouan man began his 76th birthday and 49th wedding anniversary on Friday in police custody and later appeared in court charged with trespassing, as the years-old beach access impasse in Canouan continues.

Andrew Foyle appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Friday, charged that on Jan. 5, 2017, he “did enter upon the property of Canouan Resort Development Limited as a trespasser with intent to annoy”.

It was the first time in this life that he was ever charged with a criminal offence.

Foyle is jointly charged with long-standing Canouan activist, Terry Bynoe, who has been campaigning for almost two decades for access to beaches in the southern Grenadines island, where residents say they are made to feel like second-class citizens as they are not being allowed access by land to beaches in the north of the island, where tourism developments are located.

Both men pleaded not guilty and were granted EC$2,000 bail with one surety.

The matter was transferred to the Union Island Magistrate’s Court for hearing on Jan. 20.

Lawyer Jomo Thomas, who is representing Foyle, told iWitness News outside the court in Kingstown that he is confident that his client would be found not guilty of the charge.

Terry Bynoe leaves the court after pleading not guilty to a trespassing charge on Friday. (iWN photo)

Foyle was born in Canouan and retired to the island a few years ago after working overseas for decades.

He has been involved the beach-access activism since last year, when developers first placed buoys in the sea, preventing vessels and swimmers from entering.

Head of the Maritime Administration, David Robin, later visited the island and announced that the government had declared a no-anchoring or fishing zone in an area near the resort.

The developers were also ordered to remove the buoys.

By Foyle said that the buoys were placed in the water again this year and activists on the island went and spoke to the manager of the resort about the buoy and access to the beach.

“He grant[ed] us access to the beach. Now, when they put the buoys back, we told him that we did not want it there and we gave him some alternatives as to how to put the buoy and he ignored it. So we took it down. And now they put it back the same way how it was again and that is not right. We were arrested yesterday on the beach in L’Anse Guyac and last night we travelled to come up here.”

The men were transported to Kingstown on a Coast Guard rigid-hulled inflatable boat.

“My back nearly killed me because I suffer with my back and it was a lot of pounding he said,” Foyle told iWitness News.

He said that the charge against him is “nonsense”, adding that he will continue in the activism for beach access.

“But the judge said that we can’t talk to any witnesses,” he said, noting the bail bond condition, but pointed out that he did not know if there were any witnesses or who they are.

“But all what we know when we were in the station yesterday, about six to seven guards came down there to give statements.”

Foyle described the charge as “trumped up”.

“It’s up to them. We are going to have access to the beach whether by hook or by crook. If Gonsalves don’t want to do it for us, which we have a right, because the road was there since I was a little child and now I am 76 years old and the road is still there. Only that they did it wider. They made it for vehicles. We didn’t have vehicles in the days and we were going all up there and so we need it,” Foyle told iWitness News.

#LIVE: Activist #TerryBynoe and fellow #Canouan resident #AndrewFoyle charged with criminal trespass as the island's beach access impasse continues

Posted by iWitness News on Friday, January 6, 2017

18 replies on “Man, 76, charged on his birthday as beach access impasse continues in Canouan”

  1. Politicians will always pander to big business the elite and upper class. You have to struggle on your own If anyone is to be arrested the upper class you would be facilitated out of the country

  2. I wonder whether this tiny and unrepresentative faction of Canouan activists and their mainland supporters understand that their own selfish wants are incompatible with the greater needs of the majority of islanders who have welcomed these developers with open arms because they represent their only prospect for local employment and a better way of life.

    Andrew Foyle had to flee his beloved island paradise for overseas because that was the only way he could earn a reasonable living. Finally, in his old age with his bank account full and monthly pension funds rolling in, he is able to return to his home island. But at what cost? Four decades away from home, each and every day filled with a longing to return, a desire that could never be met until the ravages of old age set in.

    Why does he insist that his fellow islanders have to follow the same path, as will surely happen if he and his band succeed in driving the developers out?

    Why shouldn’t Canouan people be allowed to just spend their whole life on their beloved island, Mr. Foyle? Please get out the way and allow them the chance to do so.

    1. David not another soul in the whole world agrees with you so perhaps we should just agree to differ.

      In fact I believe not another sole in the world agrees with you either.

      Lemon or Dover that is, so you do have a choice. Isn’t it great when we all have choices?

      1. Do you deny that most Canouan people are opposed to the activities of this tiny bunch of radicals?

      2. David I do not know what the majority of Canouonians want and nor do you.

        I am sure that they want whatever law prescribes and I agree to that.

        Groups of radicals are usually minorities and often are right in what they demand. We should be thankful there are people willing to stand up for the rights of the majority. I have noticed when minorities win the majority are pleased to reap the rewards.

        If you say so David I suppose you must be correct, because you know everything and everyone else knows nothing.

        Sorry I am forgetting myself your honour. I did not mean to be rude to you David I know I must respect you and agree with your opinions. May I assure you I have great respect for you as the internet policeman and as the Doctor and Professor.

        Please give my regards to the voices of today, Napoleon or whoever.. You are so lucky to have such people and be able to switch places with them.

  3. How can the police arrest these people for trespass when the people are exercising their public and citizens rights in walking ancient public rights of way and visiting public beaches. Both of these are rights upheld by law [or should be] and therefore when the police arrest them they the police are open to charges of false and even perhaps malicious arrest.

    There is an element of spiteful maliciousness in this whole matter which points to the ULP government, that being their forte.

    Both Ralph Gonsalves and James Mitchell should be ashamed of themselves for creating this problem. Ralph Gonsalves for being two faced when considering what he said and did whilst in opposition and more recently for compounding the problem. And Mitchell for creating the original problem. I hope history displays them as a pair of slime bags.

    Gonsalves should be backing the citizens not a bunch of foreigners regardless of how much money they wave about.

    I just hope corruption whilst in public office is not involved. No one has evidence of such and I do not remember anyone making that accusation. But it smells and should be investigated, not by the police because they are now part of the problem.

    There should be an urgent public enquiry using some people who are not under the ULP or government control.

    Lets hope if these people are found guilty that the case can then go on to the House of Lords. Why not start a fighting fund if an appeal requires funding in the future. I will undertake to subscribe towards it if and when that happens.

    You may fine some useful information here

    https://www.gnlaw.co.uk/materials/compensation_claims_against_police.pdf

    1. Nice tough words from a rich bloke like you who can afford to visit any private or public beach on the planet.

      But what about ordinary Canouon residents whose very livelihood is at stake in this beach access issue?

      I guess that doesn’t matter to you at all as long as the ULP gets a black eye in the process.

  4. Is this the price for progress in SVG?
    Where in this world could any Vincentian go and purchase water front properties and denied any locals access?
    Total sellout by our leaders!

    1. Believe me, this happens all over the world, the best example from a rich country is the famous Malibu Beach area — home of the rich and famous — just north of Los Angeles, California.

      1. Nancy Saul-Demers says:

        On the contrary, public access to “the famous Malibu Beach area is ensured and has recently been improved with the addition of a new Malibu stairway, which allow people to descend a 30-foot bluff into the sands below. (see http://www.coastal.ca.gov/access/malibuguide2010.pdf ““Development shall not interfere with the public’s
        right of access to the sea…including…the use of
        the dry sand and rocky coastal beaches to the first
        line of terrestrial vegetation.”
        and http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-malibu-beach-access-20160616-snap-story.html

      2. Thanks for this update, Nancy Saul-Demeers, of which I was not aware. What I do know is that there was wrangling between beach home owners and visitors about beach access for many, many years.

        Perhaps a similar model is needed here though I believe that the xenophobic radicals would never be satisfied with any resolution.

      3. David I am sure you didn’t mean to tell us lies or mislead us. As the internet policeman and a doctor and professor I am sure you would never dream of doing such a thing. Unless of course Napoleon took over made those statements for you.

        Thank you Nancy for the correction, I just hope you have not upset David because he can be very rude to women although he doesn’t mean to be. He still owes an apology to Sandra B but Napoleon will not allow him to do so.

    2. Vincentian, the Beaches are protected by law in favour of the public and what they are doing with the direct assistance of the government is unconstitutional.

      But I bow to Davids superiority in the matter because he knows everything and all the rest of us know nothing.

      So Malibu it is David, thanks for the comparison we all very much appreciate your internet police activities.

      Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu sooooooooooooooo muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  5. David the mainland supporters have to because they are also losing access to the remaining clean, safe and calm beaches on the Leeward side of the island. Mt. Wynn is a typical example where access has been denied for Big Bay for more than 10 years and now Little Bay will soon have the same restrictions. That mean its back to the river for a sea bath.
    Why don’t the resort people fence in their property and leave a path so people could get to the beach? The same situation happened in Layou where houses were built on a road that existed since the days of slavery.

  6. Brown Boy USA says:

    That’s our problem my fellow Vincentians, we like to argue with one another over who is right, righter and rightest! This our land, our home, our people, what are we doing? Just allow the politicians to do whatever they want, and the people, and us, just sit by and lam-base each other? Come on guys. Let us use this forum to air our positive views to try and make a change for the betterment of our country than this constant nonsense of who is right. These are our people, and we are not better than the politicians if we constantly here criticizing each other for our views and the bigger picture get lost. We are Vincentians, proud of our country and it time for us to stand up, put right where right should be and condemn the wrongs than being at each other’s throat. We all want to see the best for our country. Selling our lands and beaches in the tourism or development at the expense of our people livelihood is something none of us should tolerate! I guess we all will sit by, argue with one another, and when all is said and done we going be like: well I told you so, or if I did know!

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