Patrika Evence, the 1999 Miss St. Lucia winner from Dennery, was not present in court and was therefore convicted in absentia.
Evence, currently a teacher, was slapped with a six-month custodial sentence for hitting an officer in the face with a piece of wood and a 1,000 fine for threatening to kill the said officer.
The trial proceeded today with the prosecution calling the two officers involved in the matter, Acting Coporal 542 Winters and SPC 109 Ezra Deterville, and investigating officer, Constable Richards.
Officer Deterville was the first to take the witness stand.
According to Deterville, on December 11, 2011, at about 10 pm at Caribbean Cocktails bar in Castries, the bar’s proprietor, known as JJ, instructed his staff not to serve Evence, who had attempted to order a drink.
Evence reportedly became agitated, and according to witness testimony, had an exchange of words with the proprietor, threw a drink in his face, and attempted to get behind the bar.
The court was told that two off-duty officers were on the scene and witnessed the entire incident.
Officer Winters prevented Evence from getting behind the bar and she turned around in anger. Officer Deterville testified that it was at that time he intervened.
Deterville stated: “I noticed that the lady walked toward me in a very aggressive manner. I stopped her and asked her to calm down. I tried to get her away from the scene. She took a piece of wood and knocked me on the left side of my face.”
Deterville said he then released her and heard her say: “You are a dead man”.
Deterville said he felt threatened and made a move towards Evence to place her under arrest, but was advised to refrain by the superior officer on the scene, Winters.
At this point, according to testimony by Winters, they were called away to a disturbance on Jeremie Street, nearby.
At about 11 pm, both witnesses claimed to have returned to the vicinity of Jn Baptiste Street where they had parked their vehicles, and once again encountered Evence.
Both officers claimed to have heard Evence say the following: “I ordered the hit already. You’re a dead man.”
Winters indicated that Evence was pointing to and addressing Deterville while she made the statement.
At that point the two officers arrested Evence and enlisted the assistance of a nearby G4S security vehicle to transport her to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) where they made a formal report.
From there, the investigating officer, Constable Richards, stated that he interviewed Deterville and the witness. He then informed Evence of the claims made against her and interviewed her. To this, it is said that she replied, “I did not mean what I said.”
Richards further stated that he informed Evence that he had suitable grounds to believe that she had committed the offense of assault to the person of Ezra Deterville.
Prosecutor Dominic Leonty asked Richards in court today to explain what he meant by suitable grounds. Richards replied that he had observed Deterville to be suffering with pain, and had observed visible swelling on the left side of his face.
Evence has not shown up in court on several occasions and was tried in her absence.
To this end, Magistrate Charon Gardner found Evence guilty of one count of threatening word and one count of assault.
Evence is ordered to pay $1,000 or face four months in prison. On the count of assault, Evence was issued a custodial sentence of six months.
In sentencing the defendant, Gardner stated that she believes the evidence of the witnesses’ was credible and precise.
A commitment warrant will be issued for Evence in the case of the $1,000 fine and a custodial warrant will also be issued in her name.