Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
"I don't want this trial. We have two children and it has taken a toll on them...I have moved on with my life. I don't want it," the wife of businessman Isaac Ragnauth tearfully pleaded with Magistrate Tamia Richards.
Ragnauth and his wife own Mala's West Indian Delight and he is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a fight with his wife at their Baugher's Bay restaurant on April 30, 2012.
When the matter was called today, August 29, Prosecutor Janice Stoutt called the woman to the witness stand. The woman stated that she could not remember the details surrounding her report to Police and she insisted that she does not want to go ahead with the case. However, the Magistrate told the witness that was not the question being posed by the Prosecutor.
"It's not what you [wife of Ragnauth] want," the Magistrate stated.
Ragnauth, a native of Guyana who has been living in the Territory for over 20 years is represented by Mary Lou Creque. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Prosecutor Stoutt stated that in light of what the witness told the court, the crown wished to offer no evidence; however, the Magistrate interjected and queried whether or not the woman gave a witness statement to Police. The Magistrate suggested that the Prosecutor use the witness statement to refresh the woman's memory.
Stoutt then stated that she needed a few minutes to contact the Director of Public Prosecutions for further instructions. The matter was then stood down for just over an hour.
When the matter resumed, the woman was recalled to the witness stand. She then acknowledged giving a statement to Police and with permission of the court, she was allowed to read over parts of the statement. However, the woman then stated that she could not see without her glasses and stated that it was at home, but then further stated that the glasses broke.
Magistrate Richards said there are persons in the court who could read without glasses; hence, she called a Police Officer to assist the woman. The officer read parts of the statement to the woman and during this time, the woman was crying.
Ragnauth's lawyer then stood up in court and stated that the statement which the witness was being shown, she has not seen and no disclosure was made to the defence. She said in this case she would seek an adjournment in the matter.
The Prosecutor had no objection and Magistrate Richards said that she will grant the adjournment, but the trial continues on the next date. She told the woman that she is still under oath and has begun to give evidence.
The Magistrate commented that she hopes that if the course of justice is coerced, the DPP's office will prosecute accordingly.
The woman then stated, "I move on with my life. I have my kids to think about. I don't want this."
The Magistrate told the woman that the trial will continue on October 16 and the woman replied, "aApparently I don't have any choice; right."
Magistrate Richards told her that she is bond over to return for continuation of the trial. The Magistrate also asked Ragnauth if he heard her comments about coercing the course of justice.
Ragnauth remains on bail.
During his arraignment in May, Prosecutor Stoutt stated that about 15:10 pm on the date in question, the complainant was at the restaurant when she was handed a grocery list which her husband left for her. The court heard that the complainant contacted the accused and they had a conversation about the expenses for the business.
According to Stoutt, Ragnauth returned to the business and met the woman at the back of the establishment and they had a further conversation about expenses for the business.
Based on the allegations, an argument ensued which led the defendant to go into the back room where he also sleeps and told the complainant about being in the back room. The woman, according to the allegations, told her husband that she had every right to be in the back room because she pays rent.
Stoutt said that the defendant pushed the complainant and she pushed him back. Further, Stoutt said that Ragnauth pushed the woman in her chest and she pushed him back, but Ragnauth began to hit the complainant in her head repeatedly with his fist.
Stoutt added that a fight continued and the complainant suffered injuries to the right arm and back of the head.
The woman made a report to the Road Town Police Station and received treatment at Peebles Hospital.
Sometime later, the accused presented himself at the Police Station where he was told about the report his wife made against him. He was cautioned, but he then requested medical attention and received it from Peebles Hospital.