Accused wife beater, Dennis Shallow, left, outside Kingstown Magistrate court, on Tuesday, and his wife, Marilyn Chance-Shallow in the days after the alleged beating. (Photos: iWN & Facebook)

A Twenty Hill man was, on Monday, brought before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm on his wife.

Dennis Shallow, 55, is alleged to have committed the crime on Marilyn Chance-Shallow, 57, at their Twenty Hill home on Dec. 27, 2019 – reportedly two days before their wedding anniversary.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge at his arraignment before Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett.

iWitness News understands that Chance-Shallow has a broken right arm and is still black and blue in the face, reportedly as a result of her husband’s alleged crime.

When bail came up at the arraignment, Chance-Shallow told the court that her husband left their home after the alleged crime and has not returned.

Prosecutor Police Constable Corlene Samuel told the court that her information is that after the alleged assault, Shallow went into hiding.

She said Shallow’s brother is said to have met him in a shed — “dehydrated and all that” — and took him to a doctor and then to the police.

The prosecutor told the court that the virtual complainant has expressed fear of her alleged attacker.

Chance-Shallow’s right hand is in a cast and is supported by a sling around her neck. Samuel told the court that Chance-Shallow reportedly sustained the injury during the alleged attack by her husband.

She said the Crown would not object to bail on the condition that Shallow resides elsewhere and has no contact with the virtual complainant.

However, the senior magistrate said that these types of matters are not simple.

He said that while the charge against Shallow is an allegation, the prosecution was already asking the court to throw him out of the home.

But Samuel told the court that there might have been an incident and if the man and his wife remain in the same home, it might escalate.

Samuel further said that Shallow has told police that he would not be going back to his marital home, choosing instead to live at his mother’s house.

“But the senior magistrate said that Shallow could be telling the police that because he is scared. 

Burnett reiterated that “these matters are not the easiest of matters”, noted that the offence is a bailable one.

He said that the complainant was also before him and while he does not know what happened, he was seeing what appears to be an injury.

“There may be a connection between this charge and her injury. They are married; they live in the same house. If I am to grant him bail because it is a bailable offence, it is possible that things may happen again,” the magistrate said, even as he noted that he cannot hold Shallow in custody forever.

“Because if a party is afraid of a party, is that a right for the court to have you locked up until your trial?”

The senior magistrate asked lawyer Israel Bruce, who was at the bar table but was not involved in the case, to comment on the matter.

Bruce said that he appreciates “the delicacy of the matter”.

“What the court doesn’t want … is that a defendant goes back into cohabitation and the worst happens,” the lawyer said.

He submitted that there is nothing that prevents the court from granting bail with conditions, one of which should be that the defendant must live elsewhere.

“And if that is possible, then it makes it a lot easier for the court,” Bruce said.

Meanwhile, Shallow told the court that he can live at his mother’s place, which, he said is about a 15-minute walk from his marital home.

Bruce said it would be prudent for the court to have the matter stood down, and if possible to have Shallow’s mother come to the court to say whether she would accommodate him.

Shallow told the court that his mother is 85 but said that his brother, who also lives with their mother, was in court.

Bruce suggested that the court ask that brother whether he had had any discussion with his mother about Shallow residing with them.

When the brother took the stand, he said Shallow can “one hundred and ten per cent” stay at the home of their mother, who is 85.

He said that “due to the disaster” between Shallow and his wife, they decided to take him in.

“And I personally, one hundred and ten per cent will take care of him,” the brother told the court.

The brother said he has interfaced with “the magistrate Ms Browne” and that he knows certain procedures with the law and would not want to break it.

“Well, I am glad to hear that but this is Magistrate Burnett, not Ms Browne. I am a different man,” the senior magistrate said.

Addressing the defendant, Burnett said: “Mr. Shallow, you’re sure you can take that? You’re sure about that?

“Remember, that is his wife you know,” he added to Shallow’s brother.

The senior magistrate continued: “I know what I am asking him. I don’t have to say out everything. We are all adults here. You’re sure you can make that?”

Shallow said, “Yes.”

Chance-Shallow told the court that she would like to get a protection order.

The senior magistrate told her to go to the Family Court and make that application there.

“But I am going to order him as well to keep away from you,” he said.

“This is a ‘hardish’ thing to tell a husband and wife not to do what they have to do.”

The magistrate granted Shallow bail in the sum of EC$2,500 with one surety and ordered him to have no contact with his wife until the matter is disposed of.

He was also ordered to reside with his mother.

Shallow asked that police escort him to his marital home to collect his belongings, and the court ordered that that be done.

The next hearing is at the Layou Magistrate’s Court on Jan. 22, 2020.

14 replies on “Alleged wife beater charged”

  1. How in the world can an obvious attempted murder case be handled by a Magistrate? Did we all see the same pictures of the victim right after the assault? This animal [allegedly] beat his wife with a hammer. He beat his wife like a beast. Now he is remorseful? If the woman had died he would be sorry too. Something wrong with the way some of the most heinous crimes are handled in SVG. Not only for the victims and their families but for the whole community. There is nothing to mitigate this. How did the Judge reach his decission? And, the culprit run and hide instead of going to the police. This is certainly a case where the man’s mental competence has to be looked at. Like all yo had done with Yugge. Something wrong with that coffee.

  2. Rawlston Pompey says:

    BATTERING RAM – QUESTIONABLE DECISION – AMAZING GRACE

    Except ‘…Pleas in Mitigation or ‘…Arguments’ advanced in Bail Applications,’ other than the person standing before the Court, so requested and so indulged, no one may dictate to adjudicators how to deal with them.

    From a professional perspective, do loathe the apparent ‘…persistence practice’ of adjudicators calling upon ‘…non-legally engaged attorneys’ to assist the Court in making ‘…Serious Judicial Decisions.’

    The attorney, so called upon by the adjudicator, appeared ‘…virtually useless and helpless.’

    Most certainly, it is not necessarily because ‘…an offence is bailable or the offender is a spouse.’ No Sah

    Far more fundamental than that is ‘…Prevention and Protection.’

    Though allegations and the ‘…Presumption of innocence prevails,’ the ‘…seriousness of the crime; …nature and gravity of the injuries,’ very obvious in this photograph to, and recognized by the Court, may have guided a ‘…more informed judicially-considered decision.’

    This apparent ‘…Battering Ram’ can now afford to sing ‘…Amazing Grace,’

    Seemed that ‘…Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett’ was ‘…more concerned with bail’ than of the concerns expressed by an apparent ‘…fearful battered victim for her personal safety.’

    Not sure that any Court can or should ‘…Order a 55 year-old man to reside at his 85 year-old mother’s home.’ What can prevent a violent man from ‘…walking 15 minutes’ to do something else.

    Don’t know what the hell it might be, but ‘…something untoward.’

    Why suggest that the victim incur unnecessary cost by ‘…going to the ‘…Family Court,’ when there are other ‘…judicial options- remand?’

    It is therefore, respectfully submitted that such decision not only borders ‘…insensitivity and senselessness,’ but also ‘…judicial recklessness.’

  3. I don’t understand why this magistrate and court is having such a hard time putting this man away until his trial. Talking about “Because if a party is afraid of a party, is that a right for the court to have you locked up until your trial?” It goes beyond that. Look at the condition of this woman for crying out loud!!! Violence against women is taking center stage across the Caribbean region, especially in Jamaica where for the new year two women lost their lives to the hands of their significant other. I called on these courts to make examples of these cowards who physically altered their love ones.

  4. JOSHUA RICHARDSON says:

    Was English/Grammar/Language included in the much talked about Education Revolution? Mrs. Shallow looks as if she was run over by Santa’s Reindeers. Is that why Mr. Shallow is her alleged abuser?
    Sadly, I agree with Senior Magistrate Burnett. He cannot be locked up forever but he can be tied to a Telephone Pole with “KICK ME.” sign. The first chance he gets, he would very likely batter her to death.
    Our defenceless citizens need to be protected from such MONSTERS.

  5. Jasmine alleyne says:

    This is sad boy I’m so glad the wife is still alive . Why he had to beat the lady so y codnt he just left the home?

  6. This is where domestic violence infrastructure is poor. This woman should be afforded free housing elsewhere. She needs to be in a positive environment attending group therapy and other counselling sessions. the state or NGO need to provide temporary employment elsewhere until the conclusion of the trial and its outcome. The man does not need to visit his marital home to regain access to her and use his charms and “I am sorry, I will never do it again” to regain control of her emotionally. There is church, going to the village shop etc. or some family /friend acting as go between. Let face it ,once you control the mind you get the body! The only out of domestic relationship is a complete severing of ties to the abuser which includes some family and friends, change of employment, change of country/island, change of appearance etc. Unfortunately, these changes have a financial toll. A toll too many Vincentian women and kids cannot bear. Is the state or any NGO going to absorb the financial burden?The cheapest and most effective strategy can be legislation. Can the law be change, in light of current behaviour, to make it no longer a bailable offense?

    Domestic violence is eroding the fabric of society, directly and indirectly. Can the same urgency with which the Communication and Information ACT AND the Cannabis ACTs were tabled in parliament, be placed on addressing domestic and sexual violence in SVG.

  7. If that was my mother he was a DEAD man! I don’t understand why there men are so aggressive.I can’t believe this is his wife .SHAME !!!

  8. Damn crazy. These men should be killed. I don’t understand what the magistrate is saying. He is NOT a husband; he is a demon.
    Living 15 minutes away from her is not enough either. He shouldn’t even be SVG, because this is a small country where she can easily be found. Lock him away in prison or kill him now. No law/rule is written in stone. There has to be exceptions. He should not receive bail.
    Sexual violence and domestic violence are our disasters; no wonder God is sparing us from natural disasters. We have our own, unique problems which to me are more devastating then the natural disasters. Some people don’t ever recover from these types of abuse.

  9. Thant is what i want to know, Why did he beat the lady? Was she beating him first? What in the world cud she have done, You women out there must arm yourselves.

  10. Rickie, don’t ask for others opinion in your court. I like the way you handle many cases, but I don’t like this road you like to take. Why do you need their opinion in your decisions? I also agree that you showed very little concern for the lady, even after seeing what was done to her. I am sure you won’t like that to happen to your wife (if you have one), you mother, sister or child.

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