Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh threw out the alleged victim’s testimony in a criminal case brought against Elvis Murray Watkins, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross, after the Prosecution stopped the trial.
In March this year, Watkins was charged with grievous bodily harm after the woman claimed he had used his fist on her.
He was taken before Magistrate Dexter Wason, who remanded Watkins to Her Majesty’s Prison for 10 days, with the understanding that he would remain there until April 6, at which time Wason would review the matter and decide whether to grant bail.
The matter came up for trial on Tuesday, August 30, and was transferred to Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh (who was Acting Director of Public Prosecutions when the matter was first brought to court).
However, as the Prosecution was proceeding with its case, it was noted that the testimony of the complainant – the only witness in the matter – was not matching up with the evidence.
Reportedly, the offense had occurred on October 31, 2021. However, the woman made a report to the Police only five months later – in March 2022 – and visited a doctor at that time, as well.
The doctor’s report could not corroborate the injury the woman claims she sustained. Rather, the doctor noted only that she had complained of pain in the area. Reportedly, she also lied to the medical practitioner about the date on which the alleged incident had taken place.
It was during cross-examination by Watkins’ attorney, Wendel Robinson, that most of the discrepancies and contradictions reportedly came out.
The woman claimed the Police had not given her the customary medical form to consult a doctor, and that she was not familiar with the procedure – although she has two brothers who are members of the Force.
Further, she claimed she did not want to bring the case against the Red Cross President, and she also did not report to the Police alleged threats he made against her life.
Explaining her reason for reporting the alleged offence some five months later, the woman said she was afraid that Watkins would stop paying her.
Reportedly, she and Watkins had worked together at the Red Cross. She alleges that she was not paid after the altercation took place, and is owed money – but has become a teacher since leaving that job.
The woman told the Police that she and Watkins had been in a relationship for seven years; but, during her testimony in court, said it was for two years.
On the night in question, the complainant allegedly had gone to Watkins’ home, where he was entertaining another guest, and the incident allegedly ensued.