Kingstown Park woman fined $400 for using threatening language to police
December 13, 2013
Kingstown Park woman fined $400 for using threatening language to police

A Kingstown Park woman was ordered to pay $400 to the court, for using threatening language to a police officer.{{more}}

Esther Hutchinson was found guilty of the charge brought against her, following an incident that occurred on November 20 this year, when she threatened to douse Police Constable Adrian Forde, attached to the Criminal Investigations Department, with acid.

Giving testimony during the trial on Tuesday, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Forde testified that on the day in question, at about 2:40 pm, he was dispatched to Kingstown Park, along with personnel from the Criminal Records Office, in respect of a report of alleged damage to property: furniture, electronics and clothes belonging to Derron Dennie, who occupied a house that was being demolished.

“On arrival to the scene, I met Dennie in the public road. The defendant was in the yard of Greta Cummings,” Forde said under oath.

“Dennie and I went to the house to inspect the damages, and the defendant asked, ‘who are you guys? You guys are trespassing. This is my property.’

“I indicated to the defendant that I am police and I am investigating a report… when I spoke these words she was less than an arms length from me…. She told me she does not care, we are trespassing and we need to come off her property. I refused and she held on to my right hand and told me to get out of her yard.”

Forde said that he refused to comply, and it was at this point Hutchinson used the threatening language.

“She said again ‘get out of my yard before I throw acid on you.’ She immediately let go of my hand and said ‘let me go for the acid,’ and went to a three storey structure.”

The police officer said that less than a minute later, Hutchinson appeared on the top floor of the house with a mop bucket in her hand hanging over the wall, and she continued to curse.

He said that he became fearful and felt threatened, then told Dennie that they needed to leave.

Forde said that on November 28, armed with an arrest warrant and more officers, he returned to Kingstown Park in search of Hutchinson. He said he met her in the yard of Greta Cummings, where he proceeded to arrest her.

He testified that although she did not use threatening language during that encounter, she did not go willingly.

Forde’s testimony was backed up by Derron Dennie, who testified that he was with the police officer when the threat was made.

He identified Esther Hutchinson as his aunt, and said that he invited Forde to the area that day.

“The officer and I proceeded to the property…. She came in an authoritative manner and said ‘you guys are trespassing.’

“The officer identified himself and told her he was investigating… she held on to his hand and said ‘get off my property before I throw acid on you’ then she proceed to her dwelling place and she had a pail in her hand. I don’t know what were the contents.”

Dennie said that the property that he was living in belonged to ten beneficiaries, one of them was his mother, to whom he was paying rent.

He testified that he had been living in the house for nine years.

During cross examination by Duane Daniel, counsel for the defendant, Dennie admitted that he was in a legal dispute with his aunt, but still had respect for her.

When asked if he wanted to see his aunt suffer, he replied “I don’t believe in seeing people suffer, I believe in justice.”

Hutchinson, in her defence said under oath, that she had been living in Kingstown Park since July last year, after spending 42 years in England.

She testified that on the day in question, she was in her property with her sister and neice, videotaping a house being demolished with a laptop computer.

“Suddenly I heard a big commotion and heard people saying SVG TV and Searchlight is there.

“I did not leave my balcony that day, I didn’t know who was who,” she said under oath.

“She further testified that on November 28, police officers came and asked who was Esther Hutchinson, and when she identified herself, she was arrested.

During cross-examination by prosecutor Glenford Gregg, Hutchinson complained of back pain, and was allowed to sit.

She swore that she had never met Forde until she was at the Central Police Station, and that the words allegedly uttered at the scene were not hers.

When asked how she felt that her nephew testified against her, Hutchinson said that she expected nothing less of him for supporting Forde’s testimony.

“I am not angry with Derron, I am happy that I have access to my property,” she testified.

Also testifying on Hutchinson’s behalf was her sister Greta Cummings, who swore that she was in the company of her sister the entire day, and that Hutchinson never left her house.

She also testified that she saw officer Forde at the scene, but Hutchinson never held on to, nor threatened anyone.

Cummings also admitted that her sister does have a mop bucket in her balcony, which she uses to mop the porch, which gets wet frequently.

An employee of Hutchinson, Otto Ragguette, who admitted to working on the house that was being demolished, testified that he saw Hutchinson in the porch, but did not see her communicating with any one, hold on to anyone, or discussing acid.

A similar testimony was given by Alana Phillips, a neighbour of Hutchinson, who said that she also saw Hutchinson in her porch only, and heard her neighbour telling police and the media to get off her property.

She said she never heard Hutchinson mention acid.

Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias, commented that the situation was a sad one, and after hearing both sides, opted to believe the evidence given by the prosecution.

Hutchinson was ordered to pay $400 immediately, or spend three weeks behind bars.

She paid the fine.