Even Eunice Dowers’ lawyer appeared to have been left speechless at her apparent quick recovery from an alleged “malady” immediately after her arraignment, on Monday, on 10 counts of money laundering.
Dowers, 25, who was born in Nigeria and is a naturalised Vincentian, was bent over and moaning as she entered the Serious Offences Court on Monday.
The Ratho Mill woman had a similar presentation as the chief magistrate read 10 charges to her and as her lawyer, Grant Connell, successfully argued for the postponement of her trial on 39 other charges, which was scheduled for three days beginning Wednesday.
But at the end of the proceedings, Dowers seemed to have immediately recovered, resulting in Senior Prosecutor exclaiming incoherently as the woman walked out of the courtroom.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne said:
“I can’t handle the theatrics. She is as powerful as everyone going out there and was bent over moaning coming in. And it didn’t escape counsel’s notice either. I saw the smile at her recovery.”
Connell, known for rebuttals in the courtroom, seemed lost for words.
He said nothing in the brief period between the chief magistrate’s comment and the point at which the order was given for the court to rise for the adjournment.
The 49 charges Dowers now faces relate to her alleged unlawful use of a credit card and chequebook, belonging to her former boss, 90-year-old businessman Bertille “Silky” Da Silva, owner of Star Garage.
Police are alleging that between Aug. 1, 2018 and Jan. 31, 2019, at Kingstown, Dowers converted criminal property, to wit, the sum of US$11,283.82 and EC$6,159.39 knowing or having suspected that those sums, in whole or part, directly or indirectly represent proceeds of criminal conduct.
She is alleged to have withdrawn the money on six occasions from Da Silva’s credit card and on four occasions from his chequebook.
Dowers is alleged to have withdrawn the amount in the sums of US$1,296.18, EC$2,019.42, US$3,487.81, US$1,547.81, EC$3,481.57, EC$85.50, EC$251.59, EC$2,332.73, US$1,354.88, and US$1,578.14.
She was granted station bail on the weekend in connection with the 10 new charges and was ordered to appear before the Serious Offences Court on Monday.
However, when the matter was called, the chief magistrate told the senior prosecutor that the court had received a call indicating that Dowers “had a malady”.
“She was granted bail to appear today,” Delplesche responded and asked the chief magistrate to stand the matter down to see if Dowers would attend court.
The prosecutor told the court that if Dowers did not attend, he would ask the court to issue a warrant for her arrest.
When the matter was recalled sometime later, Dowers was still absent and Delplesche applied for the bench warrant, which the chief magistrate granted.
“Yes. Ms Dowers apparently called and said she can’t make it,” Browne said in granting the prosecution’s application.
Dowers attended the court sometime after the bench warrant had been issued but complained that she was unwell.
She was taken to a holding area until her matter was called.
When the matter was called, Dowers, making groaning sounds, walked slowly to the dock and complained of being unwell.
She leaned against the wall of the courtroom during her arraignment on the 10 additional charges.
The accused woman moved her lips throughout as if repeating the words of the charges and pleaded not guilty to each of them.
On two occasions, Dowers, who was represented by counsel Grant Connell complained that the wording of the charges were confusing.
On each occasion that Dowers complained, Connell went and spoke to her in a manner that was inaudible to the rest of the courtroom.
Counsel Connell told the court that Dowers has complained that after she was charged, Da Silva had been approaching her, including when she passed in front of Star Garage.
Connell asked the court to instruct Da Silva to have no contact with Dowers.
The chief magistrate told the lawyer that the prosecutor would do what is necessary to make Da Silva understand that he is to have no contact with Dowers.
Connell also told the court that his client was allegedly beaten by police on the weekend, but because of “the colonial structures that we have”, she could not file a report with the police complaints department and would try to do that on Monday.
The lawyer apologised for his client not attending court on time.
Regarding the date of the trial, Connell observed that there were 10 new charges on which the defence had to take instruction, two days before a trial was scheduled to begin.
The chief magistrate then adjourned the hearing of all the matters to Jan. 8 to 10, 2020.
Connell said that every time his client comes to court the police bring more charges against her.
The chief magistrate said that she trusts that the investigations are complete.
However, Connell retorted:
“Well, given who the VC is, I expect the police to be on their p’s and q’s and running round like headless chickens. That’s how the system is.”
Dowers first made headlines in early February after her then co-worker at Star Garage, social commentator Marlon Stephenson reportedly struck her during a lunchtime officer brawl at the Parts department of Star Garage.
Joshua Da Silva, a manager of Star Garage, told iWitness News then that the findings of the investigation into the brawl would be forwarded to the board of directors, who would make a determination of a course of action.
The charges against Dowers were brought later that month, but no charges were filed in connection with the office brawl.
On the one hand it is sad that in this case we have a known charlatan lawyer and now representing a charlatan defendant. On the other hand we have a police force that has a reputation of beating people in custody. At least it is not a political matter because then we may have our politically biased judge presiding. Nevertheless, our “just-us” system has so many flaws that an honest person raised with good human values is just left shaking thier head. The charlatan lawyer at least has the courage to point out many of the flaws (except the flaws that he uses to manipulate the system in his favour). We all have hope that one day the Minister of Security will stop turning a “blind eye” or possibly in secret heavily supporting the brutal and corrupt behavior encouraged in our police force. I am sure that under proper leadership the Vincentian Police can be a great model for other nations in the Caribbean, instead we have the opposite. This woman probably was not beaten by the police, but knows very well that most people in custody do get a beating as part of the SOP. Because of this behavior, I predict the SVG Police will one day find themselves in deep trouble. Our Minister of Security needs to pull his head out and stop his approval and fervent support of police beatings. He possible sees it as an instrument to intimidate the people to scare them into political obedience. Has it worked? …Maybe!
This lady is a flight risk. She should not be granted bail. It appears that if the Court do not act quickly to remand her she would be out of SVG on the next available boat or plane. This is exactly where this is headed. Does she have any significant ties to SVG?
The judiciary in the English Caribbean are usually being taken advantage of by criminals and their attorneys whose goal is to make money. The court usually apply Centuries old traditions on the conditions for granting bail not withstanding that evidence today are usually more overwhelming and that criminals have real opportunities to harm their victims.
Criminals also have real opportunities to reoffend, pervert the course of Justice and abscond easily. They have real opportunities to destabilize our democracy, damage our reputation and standing in the world and diminish the level economic activities that takes place in a country.
Execute a google search and I can guarantee, the first 100 results have something about a crime in SVG. The world today is based on technology, which can be harmful. There also technology that is designed to make systems and processes easier and more manageable. Therefore, every person who is on bail for a serious crime must be required to wear a GPS tracking device.
Forget the edict that persons are innocent until proven guilty. Evidence today are usually of better standard and quality. After thorough investigations 99% of the people arrested are usually guilty the crime. There is no harm done in wearing a GPS tracking device. We must take measures to protect the innocent people in our country. The good are the majority and the bad are a miniscule amount. Traditional police measures on their own cannot suffice in today’s world of technology.
We must develop common sense approaches to deal with crime.’We must determine what is the true meaning of freedom. We must review the terms and conditions of granting bail and develop a more sensible criteria for determination that truly reflective of the state of crime within our country.
Lock her ass up those Nigerians too dam thief they known for the biggest fraud and money laundering world wife
I meant world wide
She look like she have a tight front.
This whole matter can be sorted out at the comrades Saturday morning meetings at his office in the financial centre.
Their bad reputations follow them everywhere. [People] like her shouldn’t be allowed in SVG , and some lawyers have no morals – only interested in how to fatten their purses.
Look at her speedy recovery when courts we’re adjourned, total trickery!
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