A Community College student has told the court that the police have done nothing since she reported on March 10, 2022 that Romell Gibson, one of her classmates, touched her on her breasts and bottom.
However, the prosecution has rejected the allegation by Romyah Cornwall, 18, saying she is trying to protect her boyfriend, Jardel Williams, 22, of Brighton, and her “girlfriend”, Tameka Erescia Phillips, 30, of Ottley Hall, who are charged with assaulting Gibson at the college’s Villa campus one day before Cornwall’s report.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett is slated to hand down his verdict on Feb. 27 on charges that on March 9, 2022, Williams and Phillips entered upon the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College in Glen, to wit its yard, with intent to commit an offence.
They were also tried on a charge that on the same date and place, they assaulted Romell Gibson, an 18-year-old student, of Chester Cottage, causing actual bodily harm.
Cornwall, a Green Hill resident, testified as a defence witness on the final day of the trial last Friday at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.
She told the court that Williams is her boyfriend and laughed as she said that Phillips is “my girlfriend”.
Cornwall told the court she, her cousin and Gibson are classmates and she and Gibson take accounts and management of business together.
Cornwall testified that sometime before March 9, she approached Gibson and asked him why he treats her the way he does.
“He used to just move a how. He used to watch me and walk up and down the place. I don’t know. It’s like a weird child,” Cornwall told the court.
She, however, said she and Gibson “were not friends”.
Cornwall testified that on March 10, she went to the police with her mother to make a complaint because Gibson “touched me inappropriately.
“He touched me on my bottom and on my breasts and I felt disgusted,” Cornwall told the court.
The witness said that the defendants brought money for her on March 9.
She said she saw Gibson on that day and also when Phillips attempted to speak to him.
Cornwall, however, said she had no idea why Phillips tried to speak to Gibson.
She said she had complained to Williams and Phillips about Gibson touching her on her breast and bottom.
“I went home, I told my mother and I didn’t feel — I wanted to talk to somebody else about it,” Cornwall told the court. She said they made a report to the police who “took a long while to get back to me about anything.
“I kept messaging Officer Creese about what is going on with the whole situation.”
Cornwall said that when Gibson touched her inappropriately, she “didn’t do anything.
“I was shocked because I didn’t expect him to touch me. I didn’t give off that energy to him.”
She said classmates were around and she told Gibson that she has a boyfriend and even pretended that another student was her boyfriend.
She said she asked the class if she and the other students were not together and they answered in the affirmative “as a joke thing”.
Cornwall said that when she came out of her class on March 9, she collected the money from Williams.
“He asked me who the boy was. I pointed out Romell and he told me that he was going to have a conversation, a talk with him.
“He went over. I didn’t hear nothing because of the position I was in. He probably said something. I don’t know what was said. And I just see Romell push him. Then my boyfriend stepped aside.”
Cornwall said that Phillips then “came up”.
“I see he put something on his hand. I don’t know what it be. He start picky on Reesie… That little ants dey,” Cornwall said, referring to Phillips.
She said Phillips did not have anything but her bag and her umbrella, which was open, and she started to hit Gibson with it.
She said she has not been asked to go to court as a witness in a case in which Gibson is charged for indecently assaulting her.
Cornwall told the court that she and Gibson still go to the same school.
“Everyday day I walk school — I ain’t going to lie — everyday I go to school, Romell is either at the entrance where I have to walk or he’s upstairs…
“He usually watches me and I am not going to lie, I watch him back,” she told the court.
During cross examination by Samuel, Cornwall told the court that she made the report about the indecent assault the day after the incident between the defendants and Gibson.
She said she had been a student at the college since September 2021.
The witness said if something happens at the college, a complaint should be lodged with the dean, who is in charge.
She said she did not report to the dean on the date that the touching incident occurred nor did she make a report to the police.
Cornwall told the court that the defendants are not police officers.
She said that on March 9, 2022, her boyfriend brought money for her at the college.
She said she did not know that Phillips was coming to the college on that day.
“She used to come. The two of them used to visit me but not the two of them together.”
Cornwall said that the defendant did not come to the college to deal with the issue that she said she had with Gibson.
She, however, said that after giving her the money, the defendants proceeded to look for Gibson.
The witness pointed out about seven feet as the distance that she was from Gibson and Williams when the two men were speaking.
Cornwall, however, said she did not hear what was said but she saw when Gibson pushed Williams, who then stepped away from Gibson.
She said Phillips didn’t go up to Gibson but they had a “loud” argument.
Cornwall said she could not hear what was being said but saw Gibson started “to throw hand”.
She said that as the argument progressed, Phillips and Gibson started to get loud.
She said Gibson said, “I don’t know who you be.”
Asked if Williams said he pushed Gibson it would be a lie, Cornwall said she saw Williams push Gibson.
She said Gibson did not have anything with the defendants before March 9 and that they did not know Gibson.
Cornwall agreed with the prosecutor that when the defendant approached Gibson, he did not have any “beef” with him at that time.
“You would not want to see your long-time girlfriend and your boyfriend get in trouble, nah true?” the prosecutor asked.
“No,” Cornwall responded.
“So, you, at this point, will try to tell the court a story to get them out of trouble?” Samuel said.
“No. I would not lie,” Cornwall responded and further denied that the accused came to the campus to defend her.
“They came to give me the $20,” Cornwall said and admitted that they then confronted Gibson.
She said that after she told the defendants about Gibson they were upset.