The younger brother of Superintendent of Police Joel James has been bonded for one year in the sum of $500 or two weeks for using indecent language in public resulting in the senior police officer arresting him.
Winston James, 55, of Brighton, was slapped with the sentence after a trial before Magistrate John Ballah at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
In his evidence in chief, the superintendent told the court that he is the officer in charge of the Fire Department and that Winston is “the biological son of my mother.
“We are not on speaking terms for almost 30 years,” Superintendent James testified, telling the court that over these years, his young brother has interfered with him whenever he would see him in Kingstown.
“And I have constantly ignored him,” the officer said.
He told the court that on Sept. 23, 2023 about 5:05 p.m., he went to the fish market at Little Tokyo and after leaving, was speaking with his cousins who sell nearby.
“While there speaking, I saw the defendant sitting under a shed. He was about 30 feet away from where I was standing when I noticed he was running in the direction where I was standing talking to a cousin, named Joyce Baynes, of Richmond Hill.
“When he got to where we were, he said in a loud tone of voice, ‘Joyce! Joyce! Ah come for the f**king message you have for me.’
“Then he continued to make use of indecent language. I ignored him. I was dressed in civilian clothing at the time. Then he said, pointing his hand in my direction, he was standing about four feet away at the time, then he said to me, ‘Watch f**king dem day. You done f**king motherc**t rob me and playing f**king bright’,” the superintendent further told the court.
He said there were a number of people closeby when his brother used these words.
“I subsequently identified myself as a police officer in plain clothes to the defendant and informed him of the offence. He was then arrested by me and he was transported to Central Police Station by a CID transport where I reported the matter and investigations were carried out.”
During cross examination by the defendant, who did not have a lawyer, the officer said that while there he did not call on his phone a CID officer in plain clothes.
“So who is the one when I was going to leave by the shed call me over?” the defendant said.
“I do not know,” the officer responded.
“A CID policeman called me when you were there when I was leaving with my beer in my hand. Who took away the beer from my hand? You or the CID?” Winston asked.
“I do not know if you had a beer or who took away the beer,” the superintendent responded.
During the cross examination, the magistrate repeatedly reminded the defendant of the charge against him.
After one such reminder, the defendant said he had no further question.
The other witness for the prosecution was detective Corporal 507 Patrick who is stationed at Central Police Station and attached to CID.
Patrick told the court that on Sept 23 he was on duty when Police Constables 427 Henry and 1062 Morgan arrived at the station with the defendant.
The detective said he had a conversation with Henry. About 9 p.m. that same day, Superintendent James arrived at the station and reported against the defendant.
Patrick entertained the report and the superintendent handed over a written statement to him.
“I investigated the matter. About 9:30 p.m. same date, I informed the defendant about the report against him, cautioned him in presence of PC 98 Da Silva and he declined giving a statement.”
Patrick said he arrested the defendant via a warrant and charged him with making use of indecent language and served him with a copy of the charge sheet.
He said that on Jan 14, 2023, he continued investigations into the matter, went to little Tokyo and spoke to Shevern Duer, of Murray Village, and Joyce Baynes, of Park Hill.
“They both told me something but declined from giving any statement in writing,” Patrick told the court.
Meanwhile, in his defence, Winston James told the court that on the date in question, he was at Joyce Bar having a drink when he heard his name mentioned.
“When I paid attention, I saw my brother Joel James over by Joyce. I did not know how the conversation start but I heard when he said its over 30 years he nah talk to me.
“Then I go a little close to hear what he was saying. I overheard when he say how me thief and he well want somebody f***king kill me,” the defendant said, adding that the officer was drinking a beer at the time.
“He also say that he don’t like me. Then after I go over to Joyce and ask Joyce if she has a message for me, in a polite way. She said no and I asked again if she was sure that she did not have a message for me. And when she said no again, I said, ‘Oh, because I could answer my own frigging baptism.’
“Then I leave and go back over where I was drinking my beer and I said, ‘You like f**k man woman and somebody go kill yo. Then I say, ‘Watch frigging he nuh. Done rob me and thief me and wah play bright.’
“Then I said, ‘When ah working on me brother-in-law house, I been want $9,000 to finish me brother-in-law house and me granny give me and he the deed to go to Scotia Bank to get a loan and when the loan approved, he give me $9,000 and tek $13,000 and wah fuh play bright,” the defendant told the court.
“And I was saying to James who was running the bar and he was watching over. And then after that, I say, ‘He bring 22 pig give me to mind and I reach 52 from the 22 and he never give me any.’ I was saying those words. And I said he wicked and bad minded. Those words I used.
“While I was there drinking and forget the conversation, I see he go on he phone and I see a CID policeman — I dont know his name. He was in plain clothes, a red jersey, came and stand up over James. I was still there about half an hours taking my last Hairoun beer and going to leave James Bar to go home.
“When I leaving, I hear, ‘Woye! Woye! Woye!’ I didn’t look around. I heard the same ‘Woye! Woye! Woye!’ agian and when I look around, the CID was making signs with his hand and calling me again. When I go over the CID officer was going to say something to me. He didn’t get the chance to say what he had to say when police James grabble up my jersey, scuffle me up and I said to him, ‘What going on with you?’ And then about two minutes after — he didn’t identify himself to me but I know he is a police because he is my brother. And then the CID transport come and they take me up to CID.”
During cross examination by prosecutor acting Corporal of Police Carlene Samuel, the defendant said that on the date in question, he was not pleased with what he was overhearing.
He said that when he told the court he said, “watch he nuh”, those were the words he actually used and he was not softening in court what he had said on the date of the incident.
The defendant said he did not use the words that the superintendent complained of.
“James put these words in his statement to make it sweet. Is family issues he lock me up for, not bad word,” the defendant told the court.
He said he did say, “You love f**k man woman” but was not speaking to the officer nor did he use the other swear words in the charge.
“I did not call his name. I did not even call his name once,” the defendant said.
“Who love f**k man woman?” the prosecutor asked.
“I don’t know,” the defendant said.
“He used the word too, saying he want somebody f**king kill me. He called my name. I heard him call my name.”
The defendant told the court that he had no witnesses.
In handing down his ruling, Ballah noted that the defendant had the opportunity to cross examine his brother but did not challenge his evidence but rather highlighted things not material to the charge.
Ballah noted that during the defendant’s cross examination of the officer, he (the magistrate) had repeatedly reminded the accused to be mindful of the charge against him.