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Lawyer Carlos James, left, and the virtual complainant, Sakaina John, after Friday's court proceedings. (iWN photos)
Lawyer Carlos James, left, and the virtual complainant, Sakaina John, after Friday’s court proceedings. (iWN photos)

“But Vincentians don’t always speak the same,” Sakaina John, the Community College student who was injured during an altercation in Paul’s Avenue earlier this year responded.

She was at the time being cross-examined by defence counsel Carlos James on Friday at the Kingstown Magistrate’s court.

The lawyer is representing Chantea James, who is charged with the March 28 wounding of John in Paul’s Avenue.

The lawyer’s question about whether John had studied English came as he questioned her about her use of the word “approach” in a statement she gave to police about the incident.

In her statement to police, John had said that she “approached” the defendant.

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But during cross examination, she said that she did not approach the defendant.

“I had to pass,” she said, triggering the question from defence counsel about whether she attends the Community College and if she studied English in school.

John’s case is essentially that James attacked her as she (John) and her friend, Jézell Prescott, were walking in Paul Avenue on the way to Stony Ground about 12:45 p.m. on March 28.

The virtual complainant told the court that she had ignored James when she and some of her friends had come to the Community College and had tried to engage her in a conversation on March 21.

She said she and James had had an “altercation” on the social media platform Instagram, after James had sent her a follow request.

John told the court that on March 28, she saw James standing on the sidewalk outside Caribbean Reference Laboratory.

James was holding a baby and a book bag when she first saw her she said.

She said James later placed the baby to sit on the edge of a concrete flowerpot on the sidewalk.

John said that James was staring at her and mumbling something so she had asked James what she was saying and had further told the defendant not to interfere with her.

She said that as she turned to leave, James removed the knife, which was wrapped in a black cloth, from her bag, and began attacking her, saying, “Girl! Girl!”

John further denied that she and Prescott had approached James and started a confrontation

She said that at first, there was no tussle between she and James.

Asked if she had had cause to touch James, John told the court, “Yes, when I received the stab on my lip.”

She further denied hitting James first, adding that she had been angry because of their online altercation, “but not enough to pick a fight.

“I did not go and look for Chantea. She came for me. Me and my friend … were going to my mother’s, minding our own business, when we happened to meet up on her,” John told the court.

She said she did not have time to back away from James when she saw the knife.

Asked why she did not try to leave after being injured, John told the court, “I been done start to feel faint. I had lost a lot of blood.”

John said that after slitting her lips, James was hesitating before cutting her in her face and head.

She said she was able to wrest the knife from James but sustained cuts on her left fingers because she had grabbed the blade of the knife.

“Did you try to leave?” the lawyer asked.

“When me whole body done shut down?” John said, in the vernacular, before adding, “My whole body had already shut down.”

During re-examination, prosecutor Police Constable Corlene Samuel asked John if she had approached James.

‘Well, yes; if I had to pass. As I was approaching the area–. I had to pass,” John said.

She said that she did not run away from the scene because, “I was shocked. I was scared.”

The trial continues on July 24.

7 replies on “‘Did you study English?’ lawyer asks college student”

  1. Rawlston Pompey says:


    Desperate attorneys often twisted a ‘…comment or a word’ to
    suit his client’s defence. Courts are not easily fooled.

    Whether a ‘…Complainant or a Defendant’ studied ‘..English; …Spanish;
    …French; …German or …Mandarin (Chinese language), it is clearly not
    the offence before the Court.

    What the attorney and defendant shall worry about is ‘…justification for his client’s
    use of the knife.’ Being armed suggested ‘…preparation for the offence.’

    It was obvious from the use of the word ‘…approach,’ the attorney would
    like the Court to draw inferences that it was the complainant that had
    ‘…approached’ the defendant that led to the incident.

    If both were walking on the same road, logic dictates that they had to
    approach each other.

    Conversely, if one was standing, the one walking along the same path
    would have to ‘…approach, and most likely pass without incident.

    Save and except ‘…waiting to launch an attack,’ either the one
    ‘…standing or walking’ could have accosted the other.

    Had it been two motor vehicles using the roadway or one was parked,
    would the lawyer have asked ‘…Had the traveling vehicle approached the
    parked vehicle and collided?’

  2. I can’t understand why lawyers always try to make yht victims look guilty
    JalH the reason why I don’t believe in the court. It’s always the one who get the better lawyer wins. It’s has nothing to do with guilt and innocence.

  3. I will say F the English language. As a Vincentian I am embarrass i can’t speak the Garifuna language.It’s live and well in Central America and in New York. Carlos is a sell out.

  4. Rawlston Pompey says:


    How say you C. ben-David?

    Sometimes, overzealous or misguided intellectuals may make the
    ‘…Crudest Comments.’

    Is this the same ‘…Carlos James’ who reportedly spoke glowingly of his
    organization’s plans for ‘…poor people,’ yet so negatively against the
    ‘…Rich people of Cane Garden; …Queen’s Drive and Ratho Mill?
    [IWN: August 31, 2015].


  5. Look at carlos….whether study english or not… James have no right to used a knife on John. James even reach at John schol so she looking for war. Send her jail let she learn.

  6. Wendell Cole says:

    There is a problem in St Vincent, and it stems from the fact that there are far to many lawyers to the extent there is an imbalance between demand and supply. When this happens it creates a disequilibruim for services for the profession. In simple economic theory it means that the average lawyer will find it difficult to make a decent living from the profession. Accordingly, they sometimes have to resort to unscrupulous behavior to survive.

    It seems as though a wopping 50 percent of the students studying at university choose legal studies as opposed to science. As a result there is an over supply of lawyers in St Vincent. We can see the repercussion of such an imbalance, the result is the abundance of mediocre lawyers who call themselves friends of the profession.

  7. WHOA . . .
    Wendell, my brother, one cabal of lyers have fixed it so that if what you say in your online blog “offends” them, then they can SUE you or otherwise charge you with a crime. Ask the One dey call “SUE”!
    Maybe we should eschew “. . .where Angels FEAR to tread . . .”
    I wont say Scaliiwags.

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