Soldier goes on trial for 2006 Port of Spain assault

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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A soldier has gone on trial for assaulting another soldier on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain, in 2006.

Joel De Suze is before Justice Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds charged with causing Stephen Douglas grievous bodily harm on March 23, 2006.

On February 5, Douglas, who is no longer in the TT Defence Force, testified at the O’Meara Judicial Centre, Arima. Also testifying was a witness to the alleged altercation.

Douglas said he had known De Suze since 2003.

He said he was punched and hit on the head before losing consciousness. When he awoke, he was taken to hospital by another soldier. Douglas said he was warded and had oral surgery because his jaw was broken.

He admitted to a previous incident between himself and De Suze in November 2003, after which he was demoted from the rank of lance corporal to private.

Douglas insisted De Suze attacked him and also kicked him.

“He hit me multiple times about the face…It was an ambush, I was not prepared.”

Testifying afterwards was Ayana Cox. She said she had known Douglas for about three years, since he was in a relationship with her niece.

Cox said it was after 7.30 pm when she got out of a Malick/Morvant taxi at George Street after she saw a fight taking place.

“I was looking at the fight. There was a crowd in front of me.”

She said she saw three men beating another when two of them ran off and one remained kicking and cuffing the man on the ground.

She recognised the alleged victim’s black-and-white Puma sneakers. Cox said Douglas was “in and out of it,” with blood running down his hands.

“He was not fully of himself.”

Cox said she did not speak to Douglas and saw someone go up to him and said he was taking him to the hospital.

The altercation she witnessed lasted three minutes.

Cox went to the CID in Port of Spain for an identification parade, but it was called off, and returned on July 26, 2006, for another, where she pointed out De Suze.

The trial continues on February 19.

De Suze is represented by Amerelle Francis. Charmaine Samuel is prosecuting.