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(BARBADOS TODAY) — The woman at the centre of the dispute with the British national who was reprimanded and released after an alleged bottom-slapping incident, is outraged at how the matter has been handled.
Fifty-three-year-old Charmaine Alleyne has suggested that the move by the judicial system is making her look like she was telling lies because she wanted the visitor’s money.
James Patrick O’Rouke, 44, pleaded guilty on Monday, to unlawfully assaulting Alleyne in the Sol Top Rock Service Station, and resisting police constable Shaquille McClean in the execution of his duty on May 19.
The businessman who spent Monday night at HMP Dodds, was reprimanded and discharged and no conviction registered when he reappeared before Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant yesterday.
However, Alleyne made it clear she was not happy with the outcome.
Alleyne said she was at an area close to the ATM making tea when O’Rouke walked in and started using the machine. She said he told her he thought it was possible to get US from the ATM machine and she informed him that was not the case.
“Then he turned and he said something else to me and he shoved the $50 in my bosom. I told him I don’t need his money.
“He went over to the cashier to purchase cigarettes. I then went over to the cashier too because I didn’t get my receipt for the tea so I went to look for the receipt.
“After he paid for the cigarettes, and on going through the door he slapped me on my behind. So the same time, as I was going through the door behind him a police vehicle came into the gas station.
“I went over to them, reported the matter and they went over to the taxi that [O’Rouke and his wife] was in. The police told them what happened and then his wife asked me what happened, so I told her. So then she start to quarrel with him. The police asked him to step out the car and he refused and started to put up a fight.
“I never asked him for money. I work every day for my own money,” Alleyne said.
She said she was outraged that she had not seen the CCTV footage which O’Rouke claimed cleared his name. However, she said she did see footage “from the gas station that the police showed me”.
“Now everybody is looking at me as somebody who is after somebody else’s money. That is violating my character,” she said.
Meanwhile, O’Rouke told Barbados TODAY, that the ordeal had left him feeling humiliated, embarrassed and disappointed.
Sitting next to his wife, he said he believes he should not have been treated the way he was by police and the judicial system because he did not touch his accuser Charmaine Alleyne inappropriately.
“I am very upset. Part of me wants justice; the other part of me just wants to put it behind me. Personally, I will probably just put it behind me and put it down as a bad personal experience,” O’Rouke who is from Willehall, West Midlands, England, said.
Today he walked out of the District “A” Magistrates’ Court thanking God that he was saved by the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident, which did not support the allegation of criminal assault.
Explaining why he pleaded guilty to assaulting Alleyne if he had claimed innocence, the businessman said while at the court he sought advice from a “representative”, who told him to plead guilty because the charges were misdemeanours and the punishment would be a slap on the wrist. He said he was told if he pleaded not guilty there was the possibility that he could be remanded for a lengthy time until his case was heard.
“I wasn’t sure what to do. I had no representation there. I was in the court and I was about to go onto the stand and I then thought I needed some advice and I asked a representative who was there generally. My statement was not guilty because I had seen the CCTV, the police officers had seen the CCTV and the reason I was kept in custody in Worthings Station for so long was because the lady’s statement did not correlate with the CCTV. There were a lot of discrepancies,” he said.
Asked to explain his resisting arrest by the police, he responded: “Of course I am going to resist arrest because I haven’t done anything wrong.”
Relating his side of the incident, O’Rouke said he went to the service station around 11 p.m. to get some money from the ATM and to make a purchase.
He explained that he got out of the car asked some ladies the location of the ATM and they pointed him in the direction.
“I put my card in, I pulled out $500. I assumed I was pulling out US dollars because that is what everyone charges at the resort [Sandals] and we were due to go and swim with the turtles on the glass bottom boat. So I was like, what is this?” he said.
O’Rouke said Alleyne then started “chasing him” asking him to give her some money. He said he told her his wife was in the car and asked her to leave him alone.
“She was like, ‘give me some money, come on, let’s go’. I was like, ‘take $50, leave me alone. If my wife sees me and you talking she is going to go crazy’. . . I then went to the counter and I bought some cigarettes and I walked off.
“So by the time I got literally out of the petrol station, got into the taxi, two police officers literally within 60 seconds, the door was opened, I was dragged out and I was being accused of what I don’t know,” he said.
O’Rouke claimed he was physically and verbally abused by the police officers because he resisted the arrest. He said he was hit “severely in the face” leaving his eardrum bruised and hurting. He also claimed that his wife, who was hysterical, was hit in the mouth by one of the officers. He said he was eventually taken to the police station and kept there for hours without knowing what his charges were.