Coast Guard officer, Able Seaman Fitzroy Davis, left, and officers from the Narcotics Unit after Tuesday’s court hearing, during which he fainted. (iWN photo)

The Serious Offences Court had to be suspended for a few moments, on Tuesday, after a Coast Guard officer fainted and struck his head while testifying.

Able Seaman Fitzroy Davis, a witness for the Crown, was being cross examined by defence counsel Grant Connell in a drug matter when the incident occurred.

Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, who was presiding, noticed what was happening and shouted that Davis was fainting, saying, “Somebody hold him!”

But the police officers, who were court orderlies, did not respond in time and Davis fell to the floor, hitting his head.

The chief magistrate reprimanded the court orderlies, telling them that they need to be more vigilant regarding what is taking place in the courtroom.

iWitness News understands that it is not the first time that the officer has fainted while on duty. Sources say Davis also fainted on Aug. 1, when he was a member of a guard of honour at the installation of Susan Dougan as governor general. 

When the matter resumed, Connell asked Davis if he was feeling better and the officer said yes.

“Do you want an adjournment?” the lawyer further asked and Davis replied, “No.”

The chief magistrate told Davis that if he feels lightheaded during the proceedings, he should say so.

“Because you don’t look so wholesome over there,” she told Davis.

As the cross examination continued, there were tense moments between the prosecution and the defence when Connell referred to Davis as “fragile”.

Connell had challenged Davis about a word he (Davis) had used earlier during the cross examination.

The lawyer, who had raised his voice, apologised for doing so “because you are fragile”.

But Delplesche told the court that Connell seemed to be “preying” on the fainting incident.

‘The witness is not fragile. You cannot do that, counsel,” the prosecutor said.

But Connell said he was trying to be “human”.

“Of course he is fragile. The witness fainted in the dock… Here you have an officer who just fainted. Counsel is now addressing him and trying not to ruffle feathers and making sure he is OK,” Connell said.

But Delplesche maintained that counsel couldn’t refer to a witness as “fragile”.

“Do what you have to do but don’t address the witness as fragile,” Delplesche maintained.

Connell responded, saying that if he had caused Delplesche any “discomfort, I retract the fragile talk”.

But Delplesche rose again, saying there is nothing that is causing him discomfort, adding that he is just playing his role.

“It’s my witness. I have to look after him,” the prosecutor said.

And, as the cross examination continued, Connell asked the Coast Guard officer about where he had gotten a particular piece of information he had given in his testimony.

“Repeat.” David said.

“You didn’t hear me,” Connell asked.

“No!” Davis responded.

“Well, you are not as fragile as I thought,” the lawyer said. 

The development came during the trial of Marvin “Squat” Alexander, 43, of Diamond, Mark Bristol, a 48-year-old mason, of McCarthy, and Curton Allen, 40, a diver, of Union Island.

The men are jointly charged that on Feb. 22, at Fancy Point, the three had in their possession a controlled drug, to wit 292,376 grammes (644lbs) of cannabis with intent to supply to another.

The men are also charged with attempting to escape with the drug, and having it in their possession for the purpose of drug trafficking.

They are also charged that between Feb. 21 and 22, at Fancy Point, they conspired to traffick the cannabis.

The drug is said to have a street value of EC$1.73 million.

12 replies on “Coast Guard officer faints while testifying in court”

  1. Why am I sensing eyewitness news on a personal agenda to to promote/elevate Connell into high “ranking status”. Cant be too convenient that most if not all court matters brought forward in some form or fashion include the “goodly counsel”. Awfully fishy, right? Its just my sixth sense based on a long term assessment and something tells me I’m not the only one.

    1. Shelz, I too find it fishy that Grant Connell is portrayed by most all the press in SVG as if he is the only practicing lawyer not employed by the government. There are so very many lawyers in SVG but we never hear of them. Why is it always Grant Connell? I know of some cases where Grant Connell was terribly “embarrassed” but they never made it to any press.

      1. Yep, wondering if he is the only counsel who goes to court for real. Maybe he has good relations with the online newspaper or maybe not. Who knows.

    2. Rawlston Pompey says:

      TESTIFYING – NOT FAINTING – MAGISTERIAL PROTECTION

      It happens everywhere. Nothing personal about such reporting.

      It is not for the prosecutor to ‘…defend or complain,’ but to raise objections to the Court that may either ‘…sustain or overrule such objections.’

      It has always been the duty of adjudicators to ‘…apply the hand brake,’ when attorneys are seen as using intimidation on a witness.’

      The Court owes every witness and the undefended defendant ‘…Magisterial Protection.’

      Police officers not frequently appearing before packed Court Rooms, often gets the ‘…butterfly.’

      Most are mortally afraid of some attorneys, and often buckle under ‘…rigid cross examination.’

      That is what Defence attorneys are retained to do- ‘…grill police witnesses mercilessly,’ yet within the limits of professionalism.

      However, boldly put, ‘…Police officers’ are called to the witness stand, not to entertain or be entertained, but to ‘…Testify and not to Faint.’

      Having regained his composure, and showing a willingness to continue, the witness may have been given an opportunity by the Court to sit in the witness stand.

  2. Andre Richards says:

    Officer need to be a bit more fit and make sure he eat well before going to court. Maybe the court room was to hot for him.

  3. Please have this officer checked out medically, 2nd time fainting, something is definitely going on, do not ignore that sign, something has to be triggering those dizzy spells.

  4. SHELZ, it mean Mr. CONNELL, has been getting a lot of work lately. That is why the press is giving him so much exposure. LOL

  5. Time to move away from the practice of witnesses standing to give evidence. Sitting and feeling comfortable is what’s happening in most jurisdictions now. Time to change this archaic practice.

  6. I have been following the counselfish Connell for quite a while and I have concluded that he is a big fish in a small pond. He makes some ridiculous and ludicrous statement sometimes that defiles logic. For example, his client is a virgin of the law when in fact the client had a criminal record.

    It is my position that Mr Connell has never really been challenged and if it were in some other
    jurisdictions he would have have been given a figurative speeding ticket for making statements.

    His for favorite zinger is being a Virgin of the law. He live and die by this favorite zinger which seems to be quite effective. It points to the state if criminal law in St Vincent. Mind you I am not saying that he is not a good lawyer but a big fish in a small pond.

  7. Kenton my friend , why you never seem to post .messages that are not friendly to Grant Connell? Where is my comments vis a vis Connell is a big fish in a small pond? It is not a libelous statement.

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