A woman, on Wednesday, dropped a charge against a man who had allegedly assaulted her, even as she told the court that the man continues to threaten her.
This brought to at least five, the number of women coming before Kingstown Magistrate’s Court over the past three weeks saying they were dropping charges against their male alleged abusers.
Over a two-day period in mid-March, four women dropped the charges against their male abusers, resulting in Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett inviting Crown Counsel Karim Nelson to comment on the development.
In the most recent case at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, on Wednesday, the virtual complainant was in court, but the accused man was absent, resulting in a bench warrant being issued for him.
The woman told the court that she had to go to work that day but had to ask for time off.
She said that she wanted to withdraw the matter, saying that it was taking too much of her time.
Burnett asked the prosecutor, Police Constable Corlene Samuel to respond to the woman’s comment.
Samuel said that it appears that it was because of the system why the woman had gotten “weary”.
The magistrate said that while he does not like to hear those things, “they are also real”.
The prosecutor then said it seems as though it is because of the system why the woman had gotten weary.
The woman told the court that she has seven children with her alleged abuser, adding that while their relationship had ended, he continues to threaten her, even with the case pending.
The magistrate observed that the defendant has a shop in Kingstown but had failed to come to court.
Burnett issued a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest.
When the defendant arrived at court he said that he had confused the date, adding that the woman had said that she would no longer proceed with the matter.
The woman then went on oath saying that she did not want to pursue the matter and that she had come to that decision of her own free will.
Burnett then told the parties that the matter had ended.
He, however, engaged the defendant, who told the court that he and the woman have five children, adding that two of her children are not his.
Burnett told the man that whether it was five or seven children, it means that they had been together for a long time.
The man agreed, saying that the woman is the mother of his first child.
The magistrate said that the woman has moved on from her relationship with the defendant, who said that he, too, had moved on from the woman.
Burnett told the man that he was still harassing the woman.
The defendant told the court that he had a new girlfriend.
“The point I am making to you is that you must leave the woman alone,” Burnett said, adding that they have ended their relationship.
“You have a new girlfriend,” Burnett was saying when the defendant interjected:
“But she nah ha’ no man.”
Burnett told the defendant that is his problem.
“So you feel because she has no one she belongs to you still,” the magistrate said.
The defendant said that is not the case.
“Yes,” Burnett responded, adding, “Because she had nobody, you feel you could move in and move out.
The magistrate told the defendant that he was serious in his admonition to leave the woman alone.
Meanwhile, over a two-day period in mid-March four women, in separate cases, came before the court saying that they did not want to proceed against their male partners, who had alleged committed violence crimes against them.
After handling the fourth matter, Burnett had observed that it was the fourth of that nature, adding that in one of the case, the defendant was the woman’s husband.
“I am just speaking aloud about what is happening in the country right now,” he said.
Burnett did not say so explicitly, but his March 11 comments might have been in reference to the killing of Mickiesha Gumbs, on March 7, at Park Hill, allegedly by her boyfriend, Vandyke King.
Meanwhile, on Monday, at the Serious Offences Court, Ravenol Ollivierre, a 53-year-old Brighton man who holds a licenced firearm, was freed after a woman he had allegedly threatened to shoot on Feb. 4 did not attend court.