‘Ah fraid fuh meh life’, battered woman tells court

–husband remanded
“My Worship, ah fraid fuh meh life,” a battered woman told acting Chief Magistrate repeatedly yesterday; her reputed husband, who was in the dock charged with assault and threatening behaviour was subsequently remanded to prison.

“Dis man coulda kill me,” Matilda Miguel said. “An ah wouldna be able fuh mek dis statement here to you today my Worship, I frighten he bad now.”
Her 58-year-old reputed husband John Trotman, a father of six, pleaded not guilty to the charges of assault causing actual bodily harm and threatening behaviour .

It is alleged that on March 18, at Essequibo, Trotman of 23 Geneva, Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara, assaulted Miguel so as to cause her grievous bodily harm and on the same day used threatening language to her.

Attorney-at-Law Patrice Henry who represented the defendant made a bail application on the grounds that his client posed no risk of flight, has been in full cooperation with law enforcers and has no previous antecedents.

Police Prosecutor Corporal Munilall Seetaram had no objection to bail. However, by the time the court had heard the facts behind the charges and from the virtual complainant (VC), Magistrate Robertson ordered that he be remanded to prison.

When given a chance to speak, the VC sobbed as she explained, “My Worship, he beat meh really, really bad with a cutlass an ah wood. Ah coulda lose meh life.”

Miguel told the court that it was not the first time her reputed husband had been abusive to her, but that she had never made any reports to the police before. However, she stressed that she has made up her mind this time that she will pursue the matter in an attempt to get justice.

The magistrate then interrupted Miguel, admonishing her that she ought to have reported the abuse before now and cautioning her that should similar circumstances occur, a report must be made since violence can escalate to the point where it results in death.

The VC continued, “he does treat me real bad, my Worship, nah like a wife at all. An he does mek ah wuk real hard with no support. He don’t even give me money fuh meh upkeep.”

Sobbing louder she said, “he is a miner at Kaikan [Essequibo] an I does help he out. Suh de day when all a dis happen, I get up early de morning an cook suh dat we could get food fuh when we go to we camp on de mountain top. An plus ah had to help he fetch up some heavy tings up de mountain. And when he ask me fuh help he do more wuk ah tell he man, ah tired an he start telling me how I lazy and ungrateful.”

Miguel said that because of the man’s attitude, she became afraid and decided to retire to another camp that they had set up at the bottom of the hill. “After I guh down to de bottom ah de hill my Worship, he come after me an start beating me with de cutlass. An he even throw away all de food dat ah de cook. When he tired beating meh with de cutlass, he pick up a wood an start beating meh again.

“Ah does wuk hard fuh he, an duh is how he treating me, like ah just worthless. I really fraid fuh meh life, I could a dead. When ah start hollering fuh help is long after then people come an rescue meh cause we camp deh far.”

The miner was denied bail and the case transferred to the Kamarang Magistrate’s Court for June 15. (Femi Harris)

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