High Court Building and Judge Stephenson
High Court Building and Judge Stephenson

A jury returned not guilty verdicts against Anthony Marshall, 23, of Canefield when a three-day trial ended at Roseau High Court on Tuesday October 7, 2014.

The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions had charged Marshall with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Kiwani Jackson of Canefield in the early morning hours Saturday

In an unsworn statement from the prisoners' dock, Marshall told the court at the end of the State's case on October 7 that he normally hung out with a group of friends in the vicinity of the Canefield Urban Council. Kiwani Jackson, in his evidence said his group, Real Youth Steppers, had a party that night where his music equipment was being used.

Marshall said his friends had been invited to the party. About 2:00am, Storm, a member of his group, who had a membership card which allowed holders access to the kitchen/bar, according to Marshall, went behind the bar for a drink and was told that the drinks were done. Storm went back to the bar with Tommy, Blackboy and himself. Storm opened the fridge and took out a bottle of Eldorado. It was about then that Kiwani came into the kitchen. He went straight to Storm and grabbed the bottle from him. Storm slapped him and his glasses fell and while he was picking up his glasses he received a kick from Tommy.

Jackson left and returned in a jeep with cousin and two others. According to Jackson, he wanted to end the party after that incident and had gone in search of his cousin who had helped bring in the equipment the preceding Friday and had agreed to return to transport the equipment.

Marshall said when the vehicle arrived Black and himself picked up stones to hurl at the vehicle before it left. The investigating officer Jefferson Drigo met his father in Castle Comfort and spoke with him.

Outlining his side of the story, Kiwani Jackson told the court that during the party two female members of the group told him something. He went to the kitchen and saw that some of the drinks were missing, allegedly taken by Marshall and his friends. He hired a bus and went to buy more drinks. On his return the same female members came and told him something. He went back to the back of the bar and the accused and his friends approached the bar. They wanted to come in but told them they could not. They were not members of the group. They still attempted to come in. Tommy pushed him and his glasses fell. While he was bending to pick it up Tommy kicked him on the leg. They still attempted to enter the bar. Marshall told him, if he didn't know he was from Canefield. After the incident Jackson wanted to end the party and told his members.

After telephoning his cousin without success he got a ride to Roseau. On his way he got a call from his cousin and they agreed to meet in Goodwill by the gas station.

Back at the Canefield Council office most of the equipment was already outside. He saw Storm in a group pull out a sword and the accused with a cutlass. While they were getting back to the vehicle the crowd began throwing stones at them. The door Jackson tried to get in was closed. He looked back and saw Marshall running towards him with a cutlass preparing to swing. He put up his hands in reflex, and Anthony Marshall ran away. Jackson got round the vehicle to another door and that was when he noticed that the thumb on his left hand was clean cut off and blood gushing from his hand.

Tyron and his friends drove him to the Princess Margaret Hospital. He was examined by Dr Robertson Thomas and admitted to the Alford Ward.

Ian Jackson, father of Kiwani received a call from his sister in Goodwill. He went to his sister's in Goodwill and the hospital. From there he went to the vicinity of the Canefield Urban Council with Tyron and conducted a search, and they found the thumb in a pothole in the street. They proceeded quickly to his sister in Goodwill and put the thumb on ice. He next went to the Alford Ward, spoke to a nurse and gave her the thumb.

Shamalee St Rose, a cousin of Kiwani had to Canefield to pick up some speakers. On their arrival he parked. Coming out of the vehicle he saw a group of about 20-25 strong approaching the vehicle with weapons – sword, cutlass, bottles and stones. St Rose's party of four including Tyron Jean Jacques (deceased) and Cleveland George backed up to his vehicle. Loopie (Anthony Marshall) swung his cutlass once and then ran back. Kiwani Jackson jumped in the vehicle the same time. It all happened quickly, 20-25 seconds. Kiwani began to scream. They drove straight to the hospital.

The jury believed Marshall's version of the story.