Former diplomats Sehon Marshall, left, and his wife, Xandra Marshall.

The government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has recalled one of its diplomats at the United Nations following a report that he punched his wife, also a diplomat, in the mouth on Friday, in the presence of her mother.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said on Monday that his government has recalled “for consultation”, Sehon Marshall, a counsellor at the SVG Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

Kingstown has further instructed Xandra Marshall, its Deputy Consul General in New York, and her husband to not report to work, until further notice.

Speaking on Star FM, which is owned by his Unity Labour Party, Gonsalves said his government is treating the matter “with utmost seriousness and is considering all the alive legal options in this matter.

“From what I have said, you can deduce certain possible conclusions, certain outcomes, really, but, as always, we have to act sensibly, deliberately, firmly, as all circumstances and the law and the guiding principles admit.”

Gonsalves said that in addition to his government’s condemnation of the incident, which he said “degenerated into domestic violence, I really regret that this matter has happened to a young promising family, a family of great promise, including the three children which they have: ages 13 and 9 and 3 and this must be a difficult and challenging time for everybody concerned — the family, and I, for one, in addition to what we have to do and which we are doing as the state, I have offered up prayers for them because they are human beings which are involved, including children.”

The incident occurred less than two weeks after Mrs. Marshall was appointed, and even before she has signed a contract with the government.

Mr. Marshall has become the second diplomat who Kingstown has recalled since 2014.

He was first appointed to replace Edson Augustus, who was recalled in 2014 and fired amidst reports he had taken money from persons in the United States, promising to help them to secure U.S. Permanent Resident Cards.

Marshall was transferred to the United Nations position in August 2016, and his wife appointed to replace him earlier this month.

Gonsalves said Monday that his government takes a very strong position against domestic violence, saying this is reflected in the government’s policies and programme, including the passing of the Domestic Violence Act.

“So, the government unreservedly condemns domestic violence,” he said.

The prime minister said the matter ceased being a private one when it was reported to the New York Police Department.

“Once they got involved, the state authorities of the host country became involved, and thus, it moved from a purely private matter to one involving state-to-state relations and it involved what you may call the praxis of diplomacy.”

The prime minister said that the relevant authorities in the United States and Kingstown’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Rhonda King, have been in touch with each other.

He said he expects that a formal diplomatic communication would reach King today.

The prime minister said that he had spoken to Mr. and Mrs. Marshall separately by telephone on the weekend and there are elements of their stories that are at variance.

“But, on many core issues, one can discern agreement,” he said, noting that Mrs. Marshall’s mother was present when the incident was taking place.

Media reports out of the United States said that police who responded found Mrs. Marshall with her lip split open and a swollen finger.

Police, however, could not arrest either of the Marshalls because of their diplomatic immunity.

6 replies on “SVG recalls diplomat who punched wife in front her mother”

  1. This guys is an egotistical fool, his previous degrading comments about Vincentains living in the US who are working their asses off making an honest living, this alone should have made all Vincentains in the US opted for NOT having him to represent them. Maya Angelou said when someone show you who they are believe them the first time. I’m very happy that they are getting rid of him. I’m not sure why anyone think that they have the right to abuse another person, weather male or female. I hope this will be a lesson the next person.

  2. Is it me or the reporter didn’t edit this story fully? I can’t imagine the Prime Minister speaking that broken English stated up there. and there is something wrong with the sentence construction of the report.

  3. I was having dinner on Thursday night looking at Pix11 news, low and behold the news anchor had to report this negative news about St. Vincent. I was so appalled, you picked these scumbags and put them in overseas mission to only bring down our country and you sit there talking about tourism improvement. It’s a crying shame.

  4. Broken english? Maddie liberate yourself get out of that colonial mindset. On a number of occasions i meet garifuna people in New York i felt so bad that i can’t speak the language of my ancestors.
    Please don’t correct my english if my message is clear.

  5. Diplomats are groomed. Or they ought to be. Or they used to be. This stray was never. He could not have been. He did not have, never had, he does not have a speck of diplomatic material in him. And if he had, Diogenes, too, could not find it. Not that his “groomers” were looking for or interested in it. It was not a criterion. Thanks, was.

    He is, rather, an overnight diplomat and a national embarrassment.

    He was picked up, like many others were, for his red-support.

    This sordid episode is not his first public controversy. Let us hope it is his last. If it is, the irony would be that it will be the government’s first reprimand.

    My guess would be this: If this post is taken from him, like Allan Alexander, a different taxpayers’ post would be bequeathed upon him. (Is there a candidate who ever ran on a ULP ticket and lost in a general election, lost? I bet you would like that kind of losing.)

  6. I guess everyone will see others the way that they want to…I have known this indivdual for several years now and while I respect everyone’s opinions and views and while I cannot dispute how others saw him I saw him differently…I don’t know an egotistical guy that was mentioned about him…I consider him a friend…but we all make mistakes…I’m sure he regrets his actions…all the best in the future Sehon, and this should only serve to make you a better man and husband.

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