From the Courts
September 15, 2017
Suspect still faces wounding charge, even after death of victim – DPP

Although Lawrence Alexander is dead, Rudolph Andrews, the man accused of inflicting grievous bodily harm on him, will still have to stand trial for allegedly wounding the 72-year-old.

Alexander, from Clifton, Union Island, died at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) on Saturday, August 5, after he sustained a head injury on July 25, 2017 on Union Island.

Reports are that he was struck in the head with a stool during a dispute at Hector McTair’s bar in Clifton.

On July 31, Andrews appeared before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias at the Serious Offences Court, where he was charged that on July 25, 2017 at Union Island, he caused grievous bodily harm to Alexander, under section 173 of the criminal code of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

The prosecution objected to him being given bail on that occasion, because Alexander was housed at the MCMH’s ICU and had no movement in his body below the neck. When Alexander died, persons expected that Andrews would be charged with murder, but that never happened. 

Andrews was given bail when he appeared in court on Monday, August 14, on the grievous bodily harm charge.

On Wednesday, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Colin Williams said that the detailed post mortem that was submitted to his office did not point to Alexander dying as a result of him being struck in the head.

The DPP said that while Alexander’s death certificate said that there was blunt force trauma, the detailed report could not link the blunt force trauma to the cause of death.

Williams, however, stressed that Andrews still faces the initial charge.

“…Even though the man is dead does not mean we cannot prosecute it still; the only offence we cannot prosecute somebody for, if the witness is dead, is rape or a sexual offence,” explained the DPP.