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Hanif Forbes outside High Court No. 1 in Kingstown on July 18, 2023 after being found not guilty of murder and firearm offences.
Hanif Forbes outside High Court No. 1 in Kingstown on July 18, 2023 after being found not guilty of murder and firearm offences.
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A Georgetown man cried on Tuesday after a jury found him not guilty of the murder of a man whose wife he had been having a sexual relationship with even before their marriage.

A 12-member jury deliberated for just over two hours before returning not guilty verdicts in the case in which, Haniff Forbes, of Spring Village, Georgetown, was charged with murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm and assault occasioning actual bodily harm in connection with the January 2022 shooting death of Joshua “Cabbage” Pompey and an injury that his wife sustained. 

Pompey, who was acquitted of murder in 2004 after police officers gave conflicting evidence at his trial, was shot and killed in his hometown, O’Brien’s Valley, Georgetown between Jan. 21 and 22, 2022.

The 47-year-old truck driver who was originally of Lowmans Windward, was felled by a single gunshot wound to the head inside his vehicle.

His wife, Lekeitha Harris-Pompey aka Lick Shot, told police that Forbes, a then-40-year-old construction worker, who was her lover, had punched her in the face at her house, stolen her drinks, discharged a firearm then left, before shooting her husband sometime later. 

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Forbes maintained his innocence and both he and Harris-Pompey testified at the trial and spoke openly about their sexual relationship.

The accused man, who was represented by Counsel Ronald “Ronny” Marks, posited a theory that Pompey’s wife had arranged his murder because he was abusive of her.

To support this theory, the defence noted that Harris-Shallow had telephoned her husband at 11:45 p.m., about 30 minutes before he was killed.

Harris-Pompey, who testified at the trial, told the court that she had phoned him to say that Forbes had beaten her up and stolen her drinks.

Harris-Pompey, however, did not make a report to the police until around 12:12 a.m., claiming that Forbes had murdered her husband. 

The court also heard that Harris-Pompey had told Forbes that her first child’s father used to beat her and she had bought a gun and told him she would have killed him if he touched her again. 

The court also heard that Pompey was not the first of Harris-Pompey’s partners who was shot and killed.

She was in a relationship with Garry “Scare Dem” Williams, of Sion Hill/Rose Place, when he was gunned down in Kingstown on March 15, 2013.

Marks welcomed the not guilty verdict, telling iWitness News it was expected.

“It was a verdict I expected. The evidence was always very shaky from the very beginning,” he told iWitness News outside High Court No. 1, where Justice Brian Cottle presided over the trial.

“I asked the judge to get this matter for us as quickly as possible because from the evidence, I formed the conclusion that my client was innocent of this.”

Crown Counsel Renee Simmons was the prosecutor in the case and Marks said the Crown’s case was that Forbes was in a relationship with Pompey’s wife — which both Forbes and Harris-Pompey did not deny.

Harris-Pompey claimed she and Forbes were exchanging messages and he went to her house, stole some drinks from her, shot off a gun, waited until her husband came home then killed her husband. 

The defence lawyer said that some of the major loopholes in the Crown’s case included forensics.

“She claimed he was shot with a shotgun. He had a … 1.2 cm entrance hole. There were a lot of inconsistencies. If I start, I will have to do my closing {argument] all over again. That will take us a while,” Marks told iWitness News outside the courtroom. 

Phone set to different time zone 

The jury also had to consider the fact that on the night of the killing, Harris-Pompey’s phone was set to another time zone, making it appear that voice notes she and Forbes exchanged during an argument were sent an hour closer to the killing than they actually were.

Forbes first took to the stand in his defence on June 29 and it was a further two weeks before he was cross examined as the court broke for the carnival weekend and also because of an undisclosed matter that the prosecution and defence had discussed with the judge in chambers. 

In his evidence in chief, Forbes told the court that he was born at the Georgetown General Hospital and grew up in Spring Village, Georgetown, a village located “just above the rum factory”.

He attended the Chapmans and Georgetown primary schools, leaving at age 15-16 and went to the farm with his father.

Some years later, he went to Canada then returned home after a year and went back in 2002 for 17 years. 

When he returned to St. Vincent, he went back to live at the family home in Spring Village, Georgetown, where he was living in January 2022, along with his son, his mother and his elder brother. 

Marks Forbes
Lawyer Ronald “Ronny” Marks and Hanif Forbes pose at the entrance to His Majesty’s Prison after Forbes was formally released from custody on July 18, 2023.

He explained that he met Harris-Pompey, who he calls “Lickie”, while he was working on his cousin’s house in O’Brien’s Valley.

Harris-Pompey was selling dhalpuri and Forbes bought three and paid with an EC$20 bill. She told Forbes that she did not have change and he told her she lives up the road and she can bring him the change whenever she gets it. 

“She asked me if I would trust her with the money. I told her it is just $20,” Forbes testified.

“I asked her for her numbers. She said she does not give out her number. She said she has six children, and I told her ‘that easy’.”

He said that sometime later, he went to Penniston to work and only returned to Georgetown on weekends.  

Forbes said that one weekend, he was coming out of the yard when Pompey-Harris asked him “where I was and that I got her worried”. 

He told the court that the woman told him that after he told her “that easy” in relation to her six children, “she was constantly thinking about me.

“… I gave her my number. Before I got home, I had a lot of messages on my phone,” Forbes said, adding that he and Pompey-Harris continued to message each other. 

“She would bring up certain talk and I would ask her about her boyfriend and she would say, ‘Who boyfriend?’ 

“She said, ‘Me and the man live in the house like brother and sister.’ She told me they don’t even have sex.’

“When she told me, I kind of said, ‘she is telling me these things; I wondered what she was getting at.’ We started talking about sex and she ended up and tell me she can’t wait for the day for that to happen.”

Forbes said his work took him to different places in the country, including Morne Garu, Biabou, Kingstown and Dickson.

He said Harris-Pompey saw him one day in Dickson and inquired about where he was going.

“I told her I was going to work. She brought breakfast for me and 12 o’clock, she brought lunch and a Carib beer.”

He said that one day while working in Dickson, Harris-Pompey told him she had a wardrobe and wanted to reposition her bed in the room and asked him to measure the space to see if it was possible.

“I told her she has to get consent from her boyfriend because I didn’t want problems. One day she said she had consent.”

Forbes said one of his co-workers asked Harris-Pompey if she could cook for them and they would pay her. 

He said that one day when they went to Harris-Pompey’s house for lunch, she went to shower and when they were done eating, they put the plates on the wall and he shouted to her, telling her he was going back to work.

Forbes said that another day, when he went to the house, Harris-Pompey called him inside, saying she wanted him to measure some shelves in another bedroom.

“When I came out, she was in her towel, she had already locked the kitchen door. She took my shoes and carried them inside and came and stood up in front of me and we start to make love,” Forbes told the court. 

“Every morning when her boyfriend left to go to work — they were not married as yet — she would ask me if I hear the truck pass and she would call me to come up before the kid wake,” Forbes said, adding that they did not live far from each other. 

“She would get the grease, I would massage her,” he said, adding that Pompey-Harris had said that her feet would hurt when she walked a lot.

That was about 2019. 

Lekeitha Harris Pompey aka Lick Shot 230629
Lekeitha Harris-Pompey aka Lick Shot leaves High Court No. 1, in Kingstown on June 29, 2023.

Should I marry him? 

In 2020, Pompey asked Harris-Pompey to marry him and she consulted Forbes.

He said he was working at his cousin’s house and one Friday, Harris-Pompey and her cousin came and invited him to go with them to Bamboo Range, on the way to La Soufriere, where the geothermal energy exploration was being done.

He said Pompey-Harris told him she had something to tell him so he went. 

“We went up to Geothermal. In the bushes, there was a very deep hole called ‘Kiss Me’,” he said, referring to a river pool. 

Harris-Pompey’s cousin was a non-swimmer. Forbes and Harris-Pompey swam up the pool and sat on a rock.

He said Harris-Pompey told him that Pompey had asked her, again, to marry him.

“She asked me what she should do. I said to her, ‘It is not because me and you have an affair, I will tell you not to marry to him and I can’t tell you to marry to him.’” He said he told her to follow her heart. 

Forbes said he did not feel any way about Pompey’s proposal to Harris-Pompey. “They are boyfriend and girlfriend; I am just like a mechanic,” he said and Harris-Pompey, who was in the public gallery of the court, laughed loudly. 

Forbes said the two did tie the knot but the extra-marital relationship continued. “She got married today (Tuesday) and the weekend, she call me, tell me let’s go town. Then she called this lady, an Indian lady she say she used to go up to study, up in Glen. We paid the lady 50 bucks. We went there all the time to have sex.”

Forbes said the sexual relationship continued into 2021, adding that his mother does not want him to bring women to her house, but he sneaked Harris-Pompey into the house on three occasions and had sex there.

Joshua Pompey 2
The deceased Joshua Pompey in an undated photo published on Facebook.

Woman sent husband to feed dog so she could have sex with lover 

Forbes said he used to see Pompey around, but got to know him through his wife — Harris-Pompey. 

He said that Harris-Pompey used to always ask him to accompany her to her grandmother’s place in Chapmans. 

“I don’t know who told Joshua that she always come down the road and pick me up. But one day, she came and told me Joshua told she to tell me he doh want me in his yard and he doh want me in his car. I never used to go to his yard at that time.”

He said that one day when Pompey was ill, Harris-Pompey told him that she had spoken to her husband, so that Forbes could come and spray the backyard, which was overgrown with grass.

“I took a friend with me to spray the yard,” Forbes told the court.

He said Harris-Pompey invited him back to the house and Pompey came out and told him thanks for helping to spray the yard.

Forbes said that Pompey used to call Harris-Pompey “Nickie” instead of “Lick Shot” or “Lekeitha” and he began to call her “Nickie” also.

The defendant told the court that he and Pompey became friends to the extent that Pompey called him to help him slaughter a sheep for the wedding. They also went to Pompey’s brother-in-law place to collect a pig and Forbes helped to prepare the meat for the wedding. 

Further, after the wedding, they took the remaining drinks and had a cook at the geothermal site.

Forbes said that the sexual relationship between him and Harris-Pompey continued even up to his time.  

“She would send him to feed the dog so that we could have sex,” he told the court.

He said that when the volcano erupted in April 2021, he and Pompey cleaned Pompey’s house roof, Forbes’ mother’s house roof and Forbes’ sister’s house roof.

Harris-Pompey’s past

Forbes said he and Harris-Pompey used to talk a lot, and she would call him whenever she had a problem and they would sit near the rum factory and talk.

He said that during these conversations, Harris-Pompey told her about the past, saying that she and her sister, Punati, used to take men to Arnos Vale Playing Field, trick them and take their money. 

“One of them would say they want to pee and call the other one to follow her and they would slip away,” he told the court, adding that Harris-Pompey said that at this time she was living at Bottom Town. 

He said Harris-Pompey told him that she used to be with a man, who he learnt after Pompey’s death was “Scare Dem”, who was gunned down in Kingstown

He said that one day, Harris-Pompey showed him a photograph of one of her children who she told the court is Pompey’s son.

She also showed him a photo of a man on the phone and asked him what he thought about them. He said he told her that they resemble each other, Forbes told the court. 

“She told me what she told me should stay there and should not leave the house,” Forbes said. 

Hanif Forbes 230628
Hanif Forbes on his way back to prison after hearing evidence in his trial on June 28, 2023.

‘I must kill you. I have to kill you.’

He said that one day he and Harris-Pompey were sitting at the roadside chatting when he looked up and saw her husband coming.

Forbes said that Harris-Pompey remarked, “Oh, see the maco man ah come down”, using a colloquial expression that means a person who minds other people’s business for the purpose of gossip.

“I got off the wall and walked off,” Forbes told the court, adding that after he had made a few footsteps, he heard Harris Pompey say, “No! The boy nah do yo nothing!” 

“When I looked around, I saw her body (restraining) Cabbage. Then I heard the sound of a cutlass drop out he hand. I saw him trying to get away from her. I picked up two stones from the side of the road and she got control of him then he left. Before he left, he say, ‘I must kill you. I have to kill you.’”

Forbes said he went down the road and was mulling over what happened when Harris-Pompey telephoned him and told him to make a report at the police station. 

He said the officer at the police station told him he would only take a statement if he planned to pursue the matter in court.

Forbes said he decided not to make a statement because he would lose money every time he takes time off work to go to court and the matter is adjourned.  

Forbes said he asked the officer to warn Pompey not to have anything to do with him and he would do the same but he was not sure whether the officer had done so.

Things turn sour

He said that the last time he and Harris-Pompey were intimate was around Dec. 21 or 22, 2021.

Pompey was killed between Jan. 21 and 22, 2022. Forbes told the court that the Sunday before that – Jan. 16, 2022, was his day off.

“I went down to my uncle’s house in Caratal and Lekeitha was calling my phone asking where I was. I told her it does not concern you, leave it alone.”

He said that while at the house, he heard a vehicle and when he looked outside, it was Harris-Pompey’s car.

“She arrived at the house, saying she was looking for me and just make a careless drive down to the house and there is where she found me. 

“When she came into the house, she started to laugh saying ‘I thought I would meet you and one of your sketel women dem because you would have seen the other side of me.’”

Sketel is a colloquial expression meaning a highly promiscuous, very flirty woman who has or has had various sexual partners.

“When she came in the house and told me that, I was in the couch. There are three pieces. I was in the big one. She tried to snatch the phone from me. I grabbed it. Later on, she tried to sit on my leg. I put my hands off and told her, ‘Whatever me and you had going on, I am done.’

“She said, ‘You can’t done with me. You always ah say you done and whenever me call you or this and that, thing start back again.’ She even told me even if I move out of Georgetown, wherever I go, she would find me. I ended up telling her to leave and go home to her husband.”

Forbes said Harris-Pompey told him that she was not moving so he left and went into the road and when she left, he locked the house and took another route home. 

Hanif Forbes 230630
Hanif Forbes on his way back to prison on June 30, 2023.

The day of the killing 

He said that on Jan. 21, 2022, he worked in Villa, finishing at 3:30 p.m.

The defendant said he arrived at the Georgetown Mall at 5:05 p.m. and met his son as he was walking along the road. They spoke and Forbes continued home. 

“I was at home for a couple minutes and I called my friend, Michael Haywood, and asked him what they were doing. He said he and Jason and Bobie was at the shop drinking Sparrow.”

Forbes said he told his friend that Carib beer is his drink and it had been a while since he had hung out so he would chill with them for a while.

“So, I put $50 in my pocket and began walking over the road,” Forbes said, adding that he stayed at the shop until after 7 p.m., when the other people said they were going home.

He said that after returning home, he went to Akah Shop, located about 500 years from his house, and was playing pool there. 

“I can’t recall at what time Lekeitha Harris showed up at the bar. She came and hit me two thump and said, ‘I was looking for you so we can go out.’

“I said to her, ‘I told you one thing the Sunday before, why you still coming to harass me?’

“She left the shop, went out the door and picked up a cork and pelted it at me. I asked her if the cork had struck him in the eye if she would have said sorry. ‘I wudda give you one of that pool stick yah in yo arse’,” Forbes said. 

“She told me, ‘Come here no man. Me have something to tell you.’ I did not move. I did not know when she left but she eventually left. I was still there pushing pool with Fat Cat.”

During her testimony, Harris-Pompey told the court that she felt embarrassed when Forbes treated her that way at the shop.

Forbes told the court that he does not know how much time elapsed but while he was at the shop, his phone notifications began to sound off as Harris-Pompey was sending him voice notes.

“Then I begin to exchange voice notes and like I told the officers, none of them are threatening. I did not threaten to harm her or anyone else. 

“I was in the bar when I was sending the voice notes. I came outside when I was sending some of them,” Forbes said, adding that by this time, he was watching his son play pool with another patron. 

Forbes said left his son at the shop and went home, telling him he was going to sleep.

He said that he was in the living room watching TV and his son came home shortly after.

“I went up in my bedroom and came down back, went upstairs to check if my mother had locked the doors upstairs,” he said.

Forbes explained to the court that the house is a two-storey building with three bedrooms on the ground floor and one on the first floor, which is reserved for his sister who lives in Canada. His mother would sometimes forget to lock the door upstairs, which she opens to let air into the unoccupied bedroom.

“I was still exchanging voice notes,” he told the court.

He said he was at home when he told Pompey in a voice note “Me ah pass yo house just now. Me going pick a lime me. Me going take a walk. Trust me.”

He said he told Harris-Pompey this because he used to use the same stunt on her, saying that she was outside his house when she was not.

Forbes said he sent that voice note when he was going up the stairs to check on the first-floor bedroom and he spent at most three minutes doing so before returning inside on the ground floor, where he lives. 

He said that after checking on the room, he took a shower and went to sleep.

‘You did not raise me as a murderer or a killer’

He told the court that he was awoken by a phone call asking him what he had done because people were saying he had shot Pompey.

“I can’t recall who was the first person who called my phone. There was a call where I actually asked, ‘Who is this?’ and he said, ‘Is me Dutty’” — a guy from Owia who used to be around him, Pompey, Harris-Pompey and other friends.

Forbes said that one of his cousins later called and said she heard that Harris-Pompey was at the police station telling them that he had shot her husband. 

“I told them he knew nothing about that. Firearm, I run from that. Even weed, drugs, I run from that. I don’t smoke. I know nothing about shooting anyone,” Forbes told the court. 

He said his mother came into his room and told him what she had heard.

“I told her, ‘Mom, it’s not me. You did not raise me as a murderer or a killer…”

Forbes said his father also called him saying he had heard the same thing and he told his father the same thing he told his mother.

Forbes said his cousin, Blackman, messaged him and he told his cousin he was not going to work but would stay at home until the police came. 

“That morning, I could have left and go to work. But I remained there,” Forbes said, adding that he was at home and the police came while he was in the shower and he met them searching.

He said that detective Sergeant Malcolm Alexander, who he knows as “Fire”, informed him that Harris-Pompey had accused him of shooting her husband around 12:05 a.m.

Forbes said the officer told him that they did not need a warrant to search and he told them to go ahead. The officers searched the house and then took him to the Georgetown Police Station. 

He said he spent the entire Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022 at the police station. He said the officers questioned him about a small scratch he had on his hand, which he explained that he got while working.

They told him to take off his shirt and they also questioned him about two small scratches, which he explained was from his fingernail, having scratched himself while working on drywall. 

Forbes explained the direction in which the scratches were on his body adding that they are in the opposite direction to where they might have been had someone grabbed him.

Bottle attack

Forbes told the court he did not shoot Pompey nor did he have any reason to do so.

He said that Harris-Pompey had also told him that her husband was cheating on her and once showed him a photo of a naked woman saying someone had sent it to her, saying that the person had said that Pompey had just had sex with the woman. 

“I told her that is not my business.”
Forbes testified that Pompey-Harris used to always complain that her husband beats her but she would not retaliate. 

He said that in July 2021, around one of the times that Pompey had beaten up Harris-Pompey, her sister was having a barbeque and Pompey told them he was not taking them back to Park Hill.

Forbes said that Harris-Pompey came to him and asked him to accompany them down the road to get a ride. 

“I came back out of the gap. And I met Cabbage and his wife. He had a bottle in his hand as if he was going to hit her with it. She ran behind me and I told Cabbage she only tell me to follow her so that her friends could get a ride home because she said he had said he was not going to take them back home,” Forbes said. 

“She then held my hand and pulled me and told me let us go. When we were going down the road, she told me, ‘Imagine this man cudda just come and hold the bottle and beat me and kill me and you stand up there and nah do nothing.’ 

“Then I told her, ‘What do you want me to do? You want people to say me ah fight your husband over you?’ 

“I then followed her down the road. That’s when she said to me, ‘You don’t even know. Me have a mind just go down Bottom Town and get one ah dem bad guys down there to come and just shoot him.’

“That’s when she gave me a story again about her second daughter’s father. Saying one time he beat her when they were living in Campden Park. And she went out and bought a gun and long after that she sold the gun. I followed her down the road and she went by the station because we didn’t meet up on her friends after. 

“Probably she went into the station to make a report about how he approached her with the bottle in his hand,” Forbes told the court. 

‘When she had her problems, she run to me’

During cross examination on July 14, Forbes told the court he did not “ketch feelings” for Harris-Pompey, as the prosecutor said, but they “had something going on”.

He expounded on what he meant when he said he was like a mechanic.

“If you have a car and it has a problem, you take it to the mechanic. When she had her problems, she run to me. That is why I said I come like the mechanic.”.

He said he had sexual relations with Harris-Pompey “with her consent” and liked her as they “were friends”.

Forbes said he was “a friend to be there for a friend when you need a friend.”

He said his friendship with Harris-Pompey ended because she caused him to be locked up for something that he did not know anything about.

He said that before Harris-Pompey alleged that he shot her husband he had no bad blood with her “neither with her husband’.

Forbes denied being upset that Harris-Pompey had stayed at home rather than meet up with him even as her husband had gone out.

He said he was neither jealous nor upset that she had chosen her husband over him.

Forbes said he had thrown words in her face to hurt her feelings because of things that she told him in their exchange of voice notes. 

He admitted that he had told Harris-Pompey that she had been staying away from him since December 2021.

He denied being upset in the past when Harris-Pompey had brought the children down the road with her when he wanted to spend time with her.

Forbes said that is not true, adding that he loves children.

“One time, I was at work and she called saying she was at home with the children bored. I told her to bring them to Villa and I bought a bucket of chicken and went and hung out with them,” he told the court. 

Forbes said he felt “no how” when Harris-Pompey told him that she had bought a gun once and that she is from Bottom Town. 

“She told me she bought a gun when she was with her second daughter’s father and she end up selling the gun. I found out she was from Bottom Town since we started to talk. She told me she was from down there.” 

He said he was not very familiar with Harris-Pompey’s car but knows that she has one.

“A car that music plays from,” the prosecutor said. 

“It drives too,” Forbes responded, triggering some laughter among the jurors and the other people in the courtroom.  

He said that both Pompey and his wife play music loudly in the car, so one cannot tell by music being played in the car who was driving. 

Forbes told the court that he has never owned a gun but he has held and interacted with an air rifle and has a picture of him holding it on his phone.

He denied that he wanted to hurt Harris-Pompey so much that he killed her husband 

3 replies on “Tears as woman’s lover found not guilty of murdering her husband (+video)”

  1. Sad. How some people can be that unfaithful and wicked at the same time. Men should start standing up for themselves and what’s right and set standards in live. This lady was out for trouble from the start

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