EASTERN CARIBBEAN SUPREME COURT
ST. CHRISTOPHER CIRCUIT
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
Mr. Teshaun Vasquez for the Applicant.
Mr. Jason Hamilton for the Respondent.
2019: January, 21
RULING – APPLICATION TO REVOKE BAIL
WARD, J.: On 17th April, 2018 the applicant was admitted to bail with conditions, one of which was that he was not to come within 100 meters of the complainant or to have any contact or interfere with her. On 1st January, 2019 the applicant filed an application to have the respondent’s bail revoked on the basis that he had breached the aforementioned bail conditions on 26th December, 2018 during J’ouvert morning carnival celebrations when he accosted the complainant. I acceded to the application and revoked the respondent’s bail. These are my reasons for so doing.
In an affidavit in support filed by the complainant, she averred that on 26th December, 2018 she was standing outside of an establishment on Central Street, BCA, when she observed the respondent walking quickly towards her. He charged at her saying, ” You see you, you see you” while at the same time raising both of his hands which he pointed aggressively at her face. He was about 1 foot away from her. An off duty police officer, Leroy James, who was functioning as a Disc Jockey outside the said establishment, quickly intervened and restrained the respondent. In his supporting affidavit, James averred that he observed the respondent approaching the complainant. He appeared angry and was saying something to her. James immediately stopped what he was doing, approached the respondent and pushed him away, admonishing him to leave the complainant alone. The complainant then left the scene immediately and reported the confrontation to the Basseterre Police.
In his affidavit in response, the respondent contends that because of their long standing relationship, the complainant was well aware that for years he attended BCA every J’ouvert morning as she would object to his presence there. He had earlier that morning been confronted by a person whom he said was now dating the complainant. He had reported both to the police. He was on his way back to BCA when he was surprised to see the complainant standing at the entrance to BCA and deduced that she had deliberately positioned herself there to either provoke him or place him in a position to breach his bail conditions. In a state of disbelief, he stopped walking and pointed at her saying, “You see you.” He said he uttered these words out of shock and frustration but not in a threatening manner. He said it was at that point that James intervened, pushing him inside of BCA and telling him to stay inside to avoid any confusion.
It would be useful to set this confrontation in context by rehearsing the background circumstances that led to the imposition of the bail conditions of non-contact and interference in the first place.
The respondent is charged with two counts of rape said to have been committed on 3rd February, 2018 and 31st March, 2018. The virtual complainant is a lady with whom he had been involved in an intimate relationship for about 17 years.
On 3rd February, 2018, by mutual consent, the applicant was at the virtual complainant’s house to spend the night. He demanded sex, she refused and so he raped her and forced her to perform fellatio. The incident was not immediately reported to the police. However, in the ensuing days the applicant continuously harassed the virtual complainant with text messages. On 15th March, he followed her vehicle to Frigate Bay and back to Basseterre. That led her to report the rape that had occurred on 3rd February.
Inspector James Francis, head of CID, visited the accused at his business place that said day and informed him of the allegations made against him. He warned the applicant to stay away from the virtual complainant.
On March 31st, 2018 the applicant entered the virtual complainant’s home uninvited and assaulted her. He also threated to kill her. He was in possession of his licensed firearm which he placed on the ground before ordering her to perform fellatio on him. He then led her to the bedroom where he raped her, positioning the gun at the foot of the bed during this time. Thereafter, he ordered her into his vehicle and drove to Ocean’s Edge. When the vehicle came to a stop at the guard booth to the property, the virtual complainant seized the opportunity to run to the guard and begged him to call the police. The applicant took hold of her and started to drag her towards his vehicle until a police officer intervened.
On the hearing of the bail application, the court acceded to his counsel’s application to admit the respondent to bail with conditions as aforesaid. On this application Learned Counsel, Mr. Hamilton concedes that the averments contained in the affidavits of the complainant and James establish a breach of bail but submitted that hitherto the applicant had adhered to all bail conditions and this should tell in his favour in being allowed to remain on bail.
The court is satisfied that the situation between the respondent and the claimant is a volatile one. The respondent was well aware of the conditions of his bail, and by his admission, even thought that he was being set up to breach them yet made a conscious decision to continue in the direction of the complainant and to engage her aggressively in clear breach of bail instead of turning off and putting distance between them. But for the quick intervention of Leroy James, the situation could have rapidly escalated with dire consequences.
The respondent has demonstrated an inability to comply with warnings to stay away from the complainant, not only with those issued by the police, but now, by the Court. The administration of criminal justice is undermined and brought into disrepute where court orders are allowed to be flouted with impunity. The court must guard against the risk of recurrence of this type of conduct by revoking the applicant’s bail and remanding him to Her Majesty’s Prison.
Trevor M. Ward QC
By the Court