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December ruling

Magistrate to deliver judgment in wounding case next month

courtA Bridgetown magistrate will hand down her ruling in a five-year-old unlawful and malicious wounding case on December 12.

Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant Wednesday heard submissions from police prosecutor Station Sergeant Janice Ifill and the attorneys for postman Adrian Delisle Barrow, 39, of Eastlyn, St George and taxi driver Michael Smith, 70, over contrasting versions of a fight that took place on May 21, 2011 near Chefette on Upper Broad Street. Barrow was charged with unlawfully and maliciously wounding Smith, and Smith brought a cross-charge against Barrow sometime afterwards.

In presenting the prosecution’s case, Ifill identified three witnesses whom she said supported Smith’s account that he was beaten by Barrow and sustained injuries about his body and face.

She told the court that an eyewitness saw Barrow on top of Smith, pummeling him. A police constable who was on patrol happened upon the melee and he reported that he saw Barrow on top of Smith, and he intervened.

Ifill said the police witness reported seeing blood coming from the complainant, who later sought medical attention. The prosecutor identified the medical doctor who treated Smith as a third independent witness. He examined the complainant and found injuries to his face.

“This matter is laced with corroborating evidence,” the police prosecutor told the court, adding that it was clear there was a case to answer. “I beg that the verdict be in the virtual complainant’s favour.”

However, in describing Smith’s accounts as fantasy, Barrow’s attorney Ajamu Boardi pointed to five inconsistencies in the complainant’s evidence.

“Did he cross the road to get to Barrow? In his fantasy tale, he was already on that side. Barrow never had to cross the road at all,” the attorney argued.

“He [Smith] told the police he was by Royal Bank and crossed the road to Chefette where Barrow was. He came to confront Barrow that day. He was a very angry man that day,” contended the lawyer.

Another inconsistency Boardi cited was that the complainant told the court he was trying to get to his taxi, but did not tell that to the police when giving his statement.

“He told the court he was innocently going about his business when he was attacked by Barrow. But . . . he admitted [to the police] approaching Adrian [Barrow] after crossing the road,” pointed out the defence lawyer.

Boardi submitted that those inconsistencies were critical to the case, noting that the law provides that if a witness has lied on any aspect of his evidence, the court must reject the entire evidence.

He said Smith was the only prosecution witness to speak to the entire incident and the case must therefore fall.

But attorney for Smith, Tariq Khan, sided with the prosecution. He said Barrow failed to make out a case against Smith, telling the court that the only evidence it ought to consider was Smith’s statement.

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