LaPlaine man found not guilty of wounding
Director of Public Prosecutions Sherma Dalrymple filed a notice of discontinuance into the trial of Denley Joseph, male adult of La Plaine, on charges of causing grievous bodily harm and unlawful wounding when the case resumed at the Roseau High Court on Thursday, October 5, 2023, before Justice Colin Williams.
The DPP and her assistants, State Attorneys Daina Matthew and Marie Louise Pierre Louis, were down to their sixth and last witness, the investigating officer, when Judge Williams told Joseph, "You may now exit the box" after the jury of six women and three men brought back formal verdicts of "not guilty" on the instructions of the judge.
Counsel Wayne Norde conducted the defence of Denley Joseph.
Denley Joseph was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH) to Kamina Albert at La Plaine on Monday, August 5, 2013, and unlawful and malicious wounding.
The court heard evidence from 5 witnesses on September 27 and 28. The evidence before the court indicated that Kamina Albert, a farmer, got to know the accused in 2007 when she returned to Dominica from America. She was at a goat fest at a bar in the La Plaine community on Sunday, August 4, in the late hours of the night into the new day. She saw a friend, Brian George, with a drink in his hand. He spilt the drink on Denley Joseph and other people standing in the accused company, and according to the witness, all hell broke loose – people running, bottles flying.
"I ran, and as I running towards the exit, I felt someone grab me… Post (Denley Joseph) grabbed me and swing… (grab) like a bear hug. I felt a prick at the time in my back," Albert said.
Other witnesses agreed that a fight broke out, and it was a gang fight – men and women arriving on motorcycles. One witness, Matthew, said Kamina gave Brian a drink, and he dashed it on Post and four or five other guys who were sitting on a bench. The people on the bench attacked almost immediately.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jeffrey James worked in La Plaine. He was present when Constable Zachariah Williams went to the accused's house and identified himself as a police officer in plain clothes. He was investigating a report about Kamina Albert being stabbed at about 1:00 am on August 5, 2013. He cautioned the accused and said, "I didn't stab her!" Williams asked the accused to accompany him to the La Plaine Police Station for further investigation. Once again cautioned, Joseph said again, "I didn't stab her… we wrestled, and I gave her a couple of punches.
Williams said he would do an interview. The accused said he would talk and did not need a lawyer because "I did not stab Kamina, and I did not have a knife that night." He would not give a statement but would answer any questions.
The accused answered the questions of Williams but declined to sign the interview notes.
ASP James, cross-examined by Norde, agreed that the accused, during the interview, denied stabbing Kamina.
Dr. Theodore Thomas, a General Surgeon, was deemed a medical expert. He assessed a female client on Monday, August 5. The history showed up serval stab wounds on the body of Kamina – one to the left chest, a second to the shoulder blade and a third in the area of the left armpit. There was active bleeding and decreased air entry to the lungs.
He ordered analgesics for pain control, among other procedures, to stabilize the patient and admitted her to Dawbiney Ward. Kamina was discharged from the hospital on August 9.
Then, it was the turn of Zachariah Williams to give evidence, but he was on sick leave.
The court adjourned to Thursday, October 5. The witness was still incapacitated. Given the nature of the evidence elicited, DPP Dalrymple discontinued the matter.
Justice Colin Williams advised the jury, and the unanimous verdict on both counts was that Denley Joseph was not guilty.