From the Courts
January 29, 2010
Who hit ‘Parch Nuts’?

No one, least of all the three police officers charged with assaulting him, seems to know how Jemark ‘Parch Nuts’ Jackson sustained injuries on November 17, 2008.{{more}}

All three officers: Casanki Quow, Osrick James and Hadley Ballantyne denied ever kicking, beating or slamming Jackson on the ground, causing him to be hospitalized.

In the evidence of Corporal Casankie Quow heard on Thursday, Janaury 21, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, he said that Ballantyne and James were dispatched to the Dr JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School. Upon the men’s return with Jackson, Quow said that Assistant Superintendent of Police, Willisford Caesar escorted Jackson to the holding area, while James escorted another man. Kemron McDowall and Ballantyne followed behind.

“I had nothing to do with the men that came to the Criminal Investigations Department…I didn’t see them after that day and I had nothing to do with beating these men,” Quow testified. He also said that after Ballantyne and James brought Jackson to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), they went back out on duty and returned later in the day.

Under cross examination by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams, Quow stated that he only saw Jemark in the office that day, but never spoke to him. The DPP asked, “Did you beat Jemark Jackson?” Quow replied: “No please, your worship, I didn’t deal with Jackson on that day.” Williams added that he found it strange that the ASP took Jackson and McDowall to the holding area.

Williams then put some questions to Quow, the same questions that he refused to answer when they were asked by his superior, ASP Caesar. “Why are you answering now? How come you didn’t answer when asked by an ASP,” Williams asked. In his response, Quow said, “I asked him why he asking me these questions and he (Caesar) told me if I listen to the questions, I would know.” Some of the questions included: his name, where he worked and occupation, among others.

Qwow said that he asked Caesar if he could seek advice from his lawyer, but Casear told him that he couldn’t wait on that.

In Officer Ballantyne’s testimony, he, too, said that he did not have anything to do with either boy after taking them to the CID. “I only saw McDowall in the holding but I don’t know where Jackson was,” Ballantyne testified.

When Williams accused Ballantyne of holding Jackson by his hands and feet and dropping him on the ground, Ballantyne echoed a resounding “No!” Ballantyne said, “I have no knowledge of that and I never saw anyone hit him, your Worship.”

Ballantyne said that the only person who placed hands on Jackson was ASP Caesar. He said Caesar placed his hand around Jackson’s neck while escorting him to the holding area.

Ballantyne said that he became concerned when Jackson was taken to the hospital complaining of abdominal pains and even more concerned when he didn’t see him return to CID. He also told the court that he wasn’t aware of Jackson’s injuries until about 3am on November 19, 2008.

In a statement given by Ballantyne on November 24, 2008, he indicated that he saw no one beat Jackson. No report of the alleged assault was ever made until December, 2008.

Defense counsel Arthur Williams told the court that Jackson told the doctors that he fell, which resulted in his injuries.

With a huge grin on his face, the DPP asked the three defendants if Jemark ever fell anytime while in their custody, each of them said no.(KW)