Pastor Nigel Morgan and his wife Althea, who were freed from jail this Tuesday, are coming out of the “fire” unburnt.
Speaking to reporters shortly after they were freed, Nigel, who had been serving a four-year prison sentence, along with his wife and daughter Crystal, for the offence of grievous bodily harm, said that there are no pieces to pick up.
“We are going out unburnt. Daniel came out without any bones broken, we are coming out here with no bones broken,” he stated firmly, he and his wife looking red eyed, and teary.
The two had been in prison since May 2018, after being convicted at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court. Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett had found that they had aided and abetted their daughter, Crystal to pour a kettle of boiled water over Cuthbert ‘Mafia’ Victory.
The incident took place on April 9, 2016, outside of the Morgans’ home in Mesopotamia. The victim was a mason from Caruth village by the name of Cuthbert ‘Mafia’ Victory, who sustained first degree burns from the act.
While the victim maintains he was attacked by Nigel and Althea, the married couple say that a fight ensued between them after an argument began over Victory playing a certain type of music.
Nevertheless, when the incident happened, it is accepted that the three parties were in a gutter tussling, and this is when Crystal, 22 years at the time, poured a hot substance onto the back of Victory.
After the date of the incident, a 54-second video circulated on social media which purported to show it. Many persons became enraged upon seeing two adults holding down Victory, who was trying to get away, while a young girl emptied the contents of silver kettle on him. However, no such video was ever tendered into evidence before the court.
On Tuesday, the Justices of Appeal, Davidson Kelvin Baptiste, Mario Michel, and Paul Anthony Webster overturned the convictions of the parents.
They agreed with attorney Kay Bacchus-Baptiste that there wasn’t evidence to establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the parents intended to aid and abet their daughter’s actions.
Additionally, the Justices, all from other countries in the Caribbean, believed the jail sentence for Crystal to be excessive in the circumstances, and reduced it from four years to three years.
There was much embracing outside of the court when the decision was made. The parents hugged their daughter multiple times, there was a four-way hug between them and their lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste; Crystal hugged lawyer Mandela Peters who was listening in court, and other embraces were observed.
Nigel was asked where he is going from here, and he answered “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.”
Their daughter still has to return to prison but will be released later this year.
“Crystal has a little job to finish, and she would finish it, we pray that she would finish it, and I know that those ladies round there would listen to some of the things that she was telling them,” her father said.
Further, he indicated: “The devil is a liar! God has proven him a liar, that’s it, that’s my statement.”
“The devil has been proven a liar. Now is not time to serve the devil, now is time to serve the Lord,” Nigel reiterated.
Continuing, he noted, “The media has exposed me internationally so I wish to say “World I’m coming to tell you that Jesus is Lord and those persons who have been rejecting him like how they rejected us – turn to him cause when he comes they are gonna be sorry.”
He added, “I wish to encourage all Christians to continue praying because in prisons all around the world there are people there who are innocent.”
Althea Morgan, subdued, gave her views, saying “God is good…Take a test to give a testament…Go through the mess…to bring a message.”
She said that a lot of the time people talk, but “talk is cheap.”
“From when you experience something you could say I was there…you hear. The time I spent round there has been beneficial in many ways, you’ll hear about them, you’ll hear about them,” she ended.
Her husband also promised that more will be said about their time in prison in the future.
“I’ve been writing a lot of appeals and bails up to this morning,” the Pastor informed, “There are people there who need help, you don’t know what I’m talking about because you’ve never been there. God allowed me to be there because he knows I’ll be strong.”
The Superintendent of Prisons and the prison authorities have a “big, big” job to do, he stated.
Further, another message he will be addressing is to tell people to go visit their loved ones in prison.
Nigel also stated, “I forgive the world because God said he would blind everyone in the meantime until this time here. So you were blinded, you couldn’t see, but I love y’all and we forgive you, we love y’all.”