Cuthbert Victory sustained burns on April 9, 2016, when Pastor Nigel Morgan, his wife, Althia, and their daughter, Krystal, poured a hot liquid on him. (IWN photo)

Defence counsel, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, in a failed attempt to keep her clients out of jail, told the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday that the burns her clients inflicted on Cuthbert “Mafia” Victory two years ago were not as bad as they seemed.

“The perception is worse than the actual fact,” she said, citing the medical report.

“What is going on here is the perception and the public pressure. So I believe that my learned friend (the prosecutor) feels that to satisfy the public he has to say a custodial sentence,” the lawyer said, adding that this cannot be reasonable in the circumstances”.

Bacchus-Baptiste was addressing the court in response to a submission by Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche, who asked that Pastor Nigel Morgan, his wife, Althia, and their 23-year-old daughter, Krystal (note correct spelling of name), be jailed for pouring hot water on Victory on April 9, 2016.

Victory suffered burns to his back, chest, face and arms.

“A minor burn. It looked bad. Take off his (Victory’s) shirt, he is completely healed. A custodial sentence, your honour, would not be just in the circumstances,” Bacchus-Baptiste told the court as Victory stood in the plaintiff’s dock.

Defence Counsel, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste speaks to iWitness News outside the court on Monday. (iWN photo)

Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett had moments earlier found the Morgans guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Victory.

The older Morgans held Victory so that he could not move while their daughter poured a kettle of hot liquid — said to be water — on his back in a gutter near their Hopewell, Mesopotamia home.

Victory, a resident of Caruth Village, Mesopotamia, had gone to Hopewell  — as he frequently did — to visit a friend — one of the Morgans’ neighbours — and an argument ensured between Victory and the older Morgans over the music that Victory was playing from a device said in court to be a jukebox.

After hearing the guilty verdict, Bacchus-Baptiste told the senior magistrate that his decision — a lengthy written judgement — did not treat with “the various inconsistencies” between the statements of the prosecution witnesses.

She said there were “grave inconsistencies” that left reasonable doubt in her mind, adding that her cross examination of Victory showed gross inconsistencies between his statement to the police and what he said in court.

Bacchus-Baptiste said that the case was not an easy one, and in mitigation, noted the character witness evidence of Pastor Manson Shortte, the only independent witness that the defence called.

She further said that there is the issue of good character and the manner in which the incident unfolded.

A dectective monitors interaction between Althia Morgan and her son at the holding cell at their court on Monday. Krystal Morgan, standing to the left of her mother in the cell, will also spend four years in jail. (iWN Photo)

Bacchus-Baptiste said there was no doubt that Victory contributed to what happened.

“I have to accept your decision, I may not agree with it, I have to accept it, but, nevertheless, he contributed by his behaviour.”

She said it was clear that Victory slandered Mrs. Morgan in front of his face by telling her “hurtful words” that she lowered herself when she married her husband.

Victory denied making such a statement.

The lawyer said Victory’s alleged use of the word couldn’t amount to self-defence on the Morgans’ part.

“It is clear in my mind that it is the behaviour of Mafia that caused this incident,” the lawyer said, adding that the incident was not planned.

She asked that a custodial sentence not be imposed, adding, “not with their character — totally clean records and the fact that we are dealing with a family who were really defending one another — whether it was legal or not. Certainly, that’s the issue.”

Nigel Morgan, right, and his daughter, Krystal, prepare to board a bus (not pictured) for transportation to prison on Monday. (iWN photo)

Regarding a fine, Bacchus-Baptiste reiterated that the charge for which her clients were found guilty is not a simple matter.

She said the court has to balance the interest of the community and the defendants, adding that the matter has been one with “so much pre-trial publicity that it probably should not have even been heard in St. Vincent”.

She said it was only because of the “almost impossibility” of asking that the matter be heard in a different jurisdiction and the cost involved that she did not make such a request.

“But there has been so much pre-trial publicity and even post-trial publicity in this matter that even myself was maligned for doing my job.”

She said that while she does not take on the statements made about her, they show the community in which the trial took place and “the pressure that was brought to bear on this matter.

“And I am asking your honour not to take that pressure on in terms of your sentence,” she said and asked for balance in the interest of all parties and asked for a fine.

“I know that because of the press and the public and everything, it is almost like a circus,” she said.

The magistrate said that considering the principles of sentencing and his own precedent — having jailed for two years a young lady who threw water on her boyfriend — he was sentencing each of the Morgans to four years imprisonment.

Bacchus-Baptiste immediately signalled her intention to appeal the sentence and to apply for a stay of execution of the sentence until the appeal is heard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFiqzchTnIg

12 replies on “Morgans’ victim had ‘minor burns’ — lawyer”

  1. This woman , Kay Bacchus is a heartless […] to describe the buns inflicted on Mr. Victory as minor burns. This is the same person who wants to represent the West St George to represent you. I will be instructing my entire family not to support this viper in the upcoming election. Kenton, i am indeed sorry to use these strong words to describe that lawyer. All i would say people of West St George buyer beware.

  2. Amos Greaves. says:

    Something is wrong with this lawyer head. Which part of these burns can be defined as minor?

  3. Agustus Carr says:

    These people are my neighbours. I am in shock and disbelief that they will do something like this. The sentence should be 10 years. Justice have not been serve.

  4. Every man is a King says:

    That burn is a bad bad bad burn.Put that evil wicked Satan Pastor in solitary confinement.

  5. I wonder if someone did this to her or a family member of hers will she be singing the same minor story, she will say anything to win a case that is her job. Lying is their profession, this is why they are called Lawyers, they all will go to hell.

  6. Jeanette Molitor Russell says:

    As I read Bacchus-Kay’s comments I was reminded of the Jamaican professor who specializes in crime in the Caribbean He commented that learning to respond appropriately to a “diss” was something that needed to be taught to young men and the population at large. The idea that Victory’s insults deserved retribution and that causing personal physical injury was warranted is incorrect. Calling someone in to mediate was necessary.

    The lack of remorse towards the victim by the Bacchus-Kay and her clients is astounding.

    Victory’s behavior prior to the incident was wrong and provoking, but we chose the correct, civil and moral response and that involves inviting others who are impartial to broker peace

    I feel equal concern over the future of St. Vincent from this attack as I do from retribution based gun violence and murder.

    Civil society requires a civilized approach to insult.

  7. Annis Creese says:

    Loss of respect for Kay Bacchus-Baptiste. Yes, you did your job. You defended to the best of your ability, but don’t minimize the suffering of Victory. – His back, face, neck, chest- all burned. The police failed by not entering the video into the trial. Why did Kay want the magistrate to fine the defendants if they were not guilty? What will the fine do for Victory? It is not compensation. She should go further to say that she won’t mind getting some “minor” burns like those. What will her judgment be if her own son got those burns accidentally or deliberately?

  8. This whole terrible tragedy could have been greatly avoided if this Pastor had just read a copy of Professor Louis Berkhof book on Systematic theology.

    ( https://www.biblicaltraining.org/library/systematic-theology-louis-berkhof )

    That system of theology was reaffirmed by the Synod of Dordt in 1619.

    ( http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/ )

    However, sadly there are so many individuals here who are calling themselves Pastors, when they are little better than snake oil sales people. Does it matter? Well yes, because there are so much unintended consequences caused by their foolish behaviour.

    The offshoot of all this, should be a cautionary warning to all those who do not read their bible properly, nor ask their Pastors where did they get their doctrines from and where and how were they trained?

  9. What about the man’s mental and psychological harm? And you’re campaigning for a seat ? Lady you have no heart towards men in General. Lest we forgot when there was a man in the middle of the court house yard fasting and praying for something you allegedly did to him years ago. SMH

  10. This article is about Kay Bacchus’ defense in the case. This family should have been placed in the psychiatric hospital for evaluation, the same as was done to Yugge Farrel only for using obscene language, and the pastor, a title for which you should have an M.Div in order to use it, and his family should have been jailed for attempted murder. But I am not surprised because you are calling the judge in the case by his nickname.

  11. I am speechless that Kay Bacchus, would really have the nerve to state this poor mans burns are minor. Good grief woman did you not see the injuries he suffered? Can you not imagine the pain mentality and physically this man as had to endure, the physiological effects this must be causing him, and you stand up in court and talk about minor injuries, unbelievable. You truly are a vermin in disguise to your profession. I am only sorry the judge did not give a starting sentence of 10 years, and throw your sorry Axxx in jail along side them.

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