From the Courts
January 22, 2010
‘Parch Nuts’ gives evidence against police officers

Detailed evidence of the assault allegedly dished out to Jemark “Parch Nuts” Jackson by three police officers was heard at the Kingstown Magistrates Court earlier this week.{{more}}

Jackson, 16, of New Montrose, alleges that on November 17, 2008, officers Hadley Ballantyne, Casanki Quow and Osrick James beat him about his body and slammed him on the ground, causing him to be hospitalized.

The lawmen were arrested and charged on July 9, 2009 and charged with causing actual bodily harm to Jackson, who was 15 at the time.

In telling his story to the court on January 18, Jackson recalled sitting on a wall with his friend, Kimron McDowall, just outside the then location of Dr J.P Eustace Memorial Secondary School at Victoria Park.

Jackson said that a jeep pulled up close to them and officer Ballantyne and James alighted and told them they were under arrest. “I ask them way I lock up for and them tell me it was for threatening a boy,” Jackson said.

Both youngsters were placed in the back of the police vehicle, and Jackson claims that Ballantyne slapped and then elbowed McDowall.

Jackson said they were then taken to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), where he claims the alleged assault continued. While there, Jackson said that he and McDowall were placed in the holding area along with another man. At this time, he said Quow came and “pull out ah gun and ask if we war he shoot we”.

According to Jackson, another officer, who goes by the moniker “Six” started beating Kimron to the point where Kimron’s ear began bleeding after a slap.

Continuing, Jackson said that he was taken from the holding area and carried to the general office at CID where he was questioned about a burglary at the business house, Cell World. “After I tell them me ain’t know nothing, I see Quow come with a hose and try to lash me, so I hold up my hand to block de lash and it (the hose) buss me finger,” Jackson stated. Jackson also claimed that his friend was struck in the back of his head with a gun by one of the officers.

According to Jackson, Ballantyne and James placed him on a desk and held him down by his hands and feet, while Quow used the hose to beat him about his body. “When them done do that, James and Ballantyne lift me up and slam me pon the ground three times and then James kicked me in me chest,” Jackson testified. He said that officers took him back to the holding area where he complained to the receptionist of stomach pains and dizziness, but his cries fell on deaf ears. Instead, Jackson claimed that he was beaten again. He said he started vomiting.

Jackson said the second time he complained of pain, two other officers carried him to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital where he was treated.

During cross examination, defense attorney Arthur Williams read back portions of the doctor’s evidence, which indicated that Jackson told the doctor that he had fallen down a flight of stairs and was experiencing abdominal pains. Jackson refuted Williams’ claim.

Williams entered a no case submission on behalf of his clients, but was overruled by Senior Magistrate Donald Browne. Williams argued that there was no medical evidence to show any bodily harm done to Jackson and that the evidence of the four doctors did not indicate what was stated. “There were no external injuries on his back and the case against Quow must fail since there is no evidence of any medical injury,” Williams argued.

In his evidence to the court last year, Dr Lennox Adams stated that when Jackson was treated on November 19, 2008, Jackson was in respiratory distress. Adams also indicated that his breathing suggested that fluid was in his lungs. X-rays performed on Jackson also revealed swelling and bruising of the lung.

Adams said that Jackson was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and was also placed on a mechanical breathing machine because his oxygen levels were deteriorating.

Responding to Arthur Williams, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams tackled Williams’ point on the Doctor’s evidence. The DPP noted that the doctor indicated that Jackson was injured and was deteriorating. “The evidence does not have to prove that he had external injuries…I am satisfied that we have presented our evidence for this to go on to the next stage and to prove that these three men acted in concert in committing the offence,” Williams said.

Ballanytne, Quow and James were expected to give evidence yesterday and today to conclude the matter at the Kingstown Magistrates Court.(KW)