The trial of a pastor, his wife, and their daughter, charged with pouring a hot liquid on a man will continue on Feb. 23, when the “star witness” is expected to take the stand.
Pastor Nigel Morgan, his wife, Althea Morgan, and their daughter, Krystal Morgan, of Hopewell, Mesopotamia are seen in an April 9, 2016 video pouring a hot liquid on Cuthbert Victory, a resident of Caruth, Mesopotamia in a gutter near the Morgans’ house.
The trio has pleaded not guilty to a charge of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on Victory.
The hearing at the Mesopotamia Magistrate’s Court was adjourned on Friday at the request of the Senior Prosecutor in the National Prosecution Service, Adolphus Delplesche.
He told magistrate Rickie Burnette that the prosecution wanted to ensure that the “star witness”, Clint Antoine, was properly summoned to court.
Antoine did not turn up to court on Friday, and the court was told that he was not properly summoned.
The prosecutor also needed time to find out about the status of the investigating officer, Sergeant Bristol, who is on maternity leave.
Defence counsel, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, told the court that she was flabbergasted that the prosecution’s “star witness” did not attend court on Friday.
She did not object to the adjournment, saying that she does not believe in holding up an objection because a witness did not attend court.
She, however, said that not summoning a witness is a waste of the time of parties with interest in the case.
Friday’s hearing heard testimony from detective Hadley Ballantyne, who was the receptionist at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Kingstown when Victory’s sister, Natasha Victory visited around 8 p.m.
Ballantyne told the court that as a result of their conversation, he issued her with two copies of a medical form in her brother’s name.
He said he then informed the Mesopotamia Police Station of his conversation with Ms Victory.
The detective said he was on duty on April 10, 2016 when PC811 Toney arrived at CID. Ballantyne said they had a conversation and, as a result, he went to the Male surgical Ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital Memorial Hospital (MCMH), where he met and spoke with Mr. Victory.
He said he noticed that Victory was sitting on a chair with a white sheet thrown over him.
The detective said he observed what appeared to be boils on Victory’s neck and back.
During cross-examination, Ballantyne said it was not customary for police to issue medical form to a third party, adding, “It depends on the status of the person.”
Ballantyne also said that while he did not mention it in his statement, he visited Victory at MCMH.
During re-examination, Ballantyne explained that by “status of the person”, he meant the status of the virtual complainant, and not the third party.
PC Toney, who is now stationed at the Union Island Police Station, said he was on duty in Mesopotamia on April 11, 2016 about 7:25 p.m. when Mr. Morgan arrived at the station and reported to him that Mr. Victory pulled him on the road.
The police officer said he issued medical forms to Mr. Morgan.
Toney said that the following day, about 7 a.m., Mr Morgan, who lives at the same address as her husband, arrived at the station and reported that she was trying to part her husband and Mr. Victory and she was injured.
He said Mrs. Morgan was wearing a medical bandage on her left wrist and complained of feeling pain there.
The police officer said he issued her with medical forms.
He said that around 9 a.m., Victory arrived at the station and handed over two copies of a medical form, which were written up by what appeared to be a doctor. The forms had on them the name and post of detective Ballantyne.
Toney told the court that Victory was not wearing any t-shirt and had what appeared to be sores about the back of his neck and shoulders.
He said that later that day, he visited the MCMH, where Victory was seen at the Accident and Emergency Department with a white sheet thrown over his shoulders.
Toney said that on April 15, 2016 about 9 a.m., a witness statement was recorded from Antoine of Hopewell. That same day, Victory’s statement and medical form were handed over to Sergeant Bristol for further investigation.
Toney said that the medical forms issued to Mr. and Mrs. Morgan were not returned to him.
During cross-examination, Toney denied that when Mrs. Morgan lodged her report with him she also told him that Victory had slapped and spat on her.
He also denied that she had told him that Victory attacked her husband and she tried to stop them and a struggle ensure.
The police officer, however, said that Morgan had told him that Victory had pulled her by her hair towards a gutter and that during that struggle she had injured her hand.
The Morgans’ lawyer noted to Toney that he never mentioned this in his statement and he said there was no reason why he had no done so.
“I am putting it to you that she said that Cuthbert Victory slapped and spat on her,” Bacchus-Baptiste told the police office.
“No,” he responded.
She further asked him if there was any reason why he had not told the court in his evidence-in-chief that Morgan had said that Victory had grabbed her by the hair.
“I am putting it to you that you are not being truthful,” the lawyer said.
“It might have been left out by mistake,” Toney responded.
“Why didn’t you say that in you evidence-in-chief?” Bacchus-Baptiste asked.
The police officer said he did not recall at the time.
Toney further 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.
He said he could not recall if the name Quincy Gilbert was ever mentioned to him during his investigation.
“So you don’t know whose yard they were at,” she said, in an apparent reference to where the fracas between Mr. Victory and the Morgan began.
The police officer said the name given to him was not Quincy Gilbert.
“I am putting it to you that you chose who to speak to and what to put in,” Bacchus-Baptiste said.
The police officer replied that this was not so.
Victory, who has already testified in the matter, was unable to attend court last week because he had the flu, Delplesche said.
Bacchus-Baptiste’s defence of her clients seems to be that they were provoked into acting as they did.