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Annamay Lewis. (iWN file photo)
Annamay Lewis. (iWN file photo)
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The prosecution today (Wednesday) withdrew the charge against the woman accused of throwing missiles in Kingstown on Aug. 5, 2021, the day when Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves was struck in the head and injured in the city during protests against a then-pending COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

Prosecutor, acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel withdrew the charge at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court today, the date Magistrate John Ballah had given in August as the final adjournment in the matter.

The withdrawal of the matter means that the prosecution can reinstate the charge against the accused, Annamay Lewis, a 58-year-old vendor of Layou.

However, her lawyer, Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, told iWitness News that she had “no fear” that the charge would be reinstated against her client.   

“Too much time has passed,” the lawyer told iWitness News . 

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She said that when the matter was called, the prosecution indicated that a witness who was critical to the Crown’s case was still not available.

Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News that based on the magistrate’s comment, it was clear that he was going to dismiss the charge.

She told iWitness News that Ballah indicated that when he says that an adjournment is final adjournment, he means it, regardless of which party might not be ready.

He further indicated that the prosecution had known that its witness was out of state but had not even made an application for his evidence to be heard by video link.

However, Samuel indicated that because of the nature of the evidence that the witness was expected to give, his physical presence would be required in court as he would have had to point out certain distances.

Annamay Lewis
The accused, Annamay Lewis on Aug. 5, 2021 when she was arrested in connection with the Prime Minister’s injury.

The magistrate further noted that the matter had been before the court for some time.

Bacchus-Baptiste told iWitness News that before she could make an application for the dismissal of the matter, the prosecution withdrew the charge. 

The defence counsel agreed that the fact that the matter was withdrawn means that it could be reinstated.

She, however, said this would be very difficult for the prosecution to do, adding she would argue that doing so is unfair, noting that two years had passed without the prosecution offering any evidence against her client.

She said Lewis was pleased with the court’s decision as she had come to court “limping”.

On Aug. 28, Ballah set Nov. 29 as the final date for the trial and told both sides he is “an equal opportunity hitter” and would dismiss the case if the prosecution were not ready at the next date, and proceed if the defence — which included Israel Bruce — were absent.

The matter, which had been adjourned a number of times over the last two years, had been listed for trial on Aug. 28, but when it was called, Samuel had told the court that the prosecution was prepared to start the trial but one of its witnesses, a police officer, was out of state at the Regional Security System in Barbados and the court would take his evidence by video link.

“Why wasn’t the application made long before? This is a 2021 matter,” Ballah had responded.

Samuel had told the court she had only become aware that morning that the officer was out of state.

She had told the court that the prosecution had four witnesses in all, including Sergeant Jacobs, the information technology specialist who was at the RSS.

Meanwhile, Bacchus-Baptiste had told the court that she did not believe that the defence was in a position to start the matter, as she had not received the “so-called warrant” for Lewis’ arrest. The lawyer had said that she had applied for disclosure of the document a year earlier.

Bacchus-Baptiste had said she was not prepared to start the trial unless she had seen the warrant.

“This is not a case that you can arrest without a warrant,” Bacchus-Baptiste had said.

However, the magistrate, who took up his post in July, replacing former Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, said the notes before him had said nothing about an application for disclosure of a warrant.

Ballah had ordered that all documents related to the case be disclosed and set Nov. 29 as the final date by which the matter had to proceed.

Lewis came to national attention in September 2021 after she was charged with wounding the prime minister during a protest in Kingstown on Aug. 5, 2021.

However, that charge was withdrawn on Sept. 15, 2021.

6 replies on “Charge withdrawn against woman accused of throwing missiles when PM was injured  ”

  1. This case was without merit and was bound to fail. The laws of evidence was not on the appellant side Hence no reasonable conviction was possible. The accusation had to be thrown out for lack of merit.

  2. Was the abrasion cause by a security watch? was it from a baton? was it from a remote control device ? Which was it? just curious. Na everybody dotish.

  3. To secure a conviction in a criminal case one has to overcome the hurdle of beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence must point in ghat direction bto secure a conviction. Otherwise the case would fail as in the above indictment.

  4. Dr. Doris D Charles Frederick says:

    For what reason? Why do this to a poor woman among us? She is a woman who continues to live and learn. We all must learn lessons from those who try to push agendas.

    One day, one day conquer day!

Comments closed.