New protocols cleared the Biabou Magistrate’s Court room of spectators, complainants and defendants – except for persons in police custody – on a case by case basis last Friday. This comes as part of the Court’s studied application of COVID-19 social distancing practices. Even the Court’s calendar of cases was impacted as only 2 civil, 1 traffic and 4 criminal matters were scheduled for Magistrate Bertie Pompey’s attention.
Amongst those was a domestic abuse related charge that stemmed from an incident involving local sport personality Hyron Shallow and his wife of three (3) years Catisha Pierre-Shallow.
Already in police custody, the seasoned cricketer pled guilty to the charge of assaulting Catisha Pierre of Mt. Bentick by occasioning a slap on March 26.
Prosecutor Sergeant Renrick Cato submitted a recommendation to have the presentation of the “facts and sentencing” not only adjourned but also transferred to the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court as he preferred to have the virtual complainant, Shallow’s wife, present when all the facts of the matter were relayed in open Court.
“Yes he pleaded guilty, but I really want the VC to be present when I read the facts before the Court and the Court would make a decision as it relates to her and her actions that led to this offence. It happened in the presence of police officers –”
At Magistrate Pompey’s questioning the Court learnt that Catisha was slapped by her husband after several weapons were taken away from her as she threatened to stab the Vincentian athlete.
“Your honor, in this offence a screwdriver was taken away from her by the police, a knife in a house –” the prosecutor was again interrupted as Magistrate Pompey sought further clarity.
“Was taken away from?” the judge asked.
“The VC,” prosecutor Cato continued, “in a house in police presence so I hope that the VC is present….”
This motion was not entertained and the learned Magistrate proceeded to enquire, of the defendant, as to the circumstances leading up to the charge.
Evidently Shallow’s narrative was too long winded which prompted Pompey to interject, “Cut the long story short. What happened?”
The Court was able to discern that Shallow left the rented apartment he shares with his wife to pay the rent only to realize, on the way there, that the money was at his house. Upon returning home, he found that the doors were locked and his wife refused to open for him. A nearby police officer was summoned and Shallow somehow gained entry to the apartment. While inside his 31 year old wife allegedly approached him, threateningly, with a screwdriver and he disarmed her.
“Reprimanded and discharged,” Magistrate Pompey declared even while Shallow was mid-sentence in his recount.
Although the Court quickly dispensed with the case last Friday, that speed meant the 36 year old cricketer was not able to articulate much of what led up to his day in Court.
ANN caught up with the couple for the details.
Shallow told ANN that his estranged wife was cursing while he was on the way out of the house.
Upon his unscheduled return, she obstinately refused to unlock the house door and even threatened to scorch him when he attempted to enter the house through her bedroom window.
“I was trying to go in the window and she was there trying to not let me in. I saw a police officer by the mall so I went to ask him to come tell my wife to let me in. He told me to go by the station and make a report. I went back by the window to tell her open the house because I need something from inside.
“I was still trying to go back in and she still wouldn’t let me in, so she had a cup of hot water in a glass so she said that if I ain’t move or if I ain’t let go the window she would throw the hot water in my face.
“So I said ‘ok then throw the water in my face and see what happen.’ So the police told me to come down from there,” he said.
According to Shallow, he obeyed the officer inasmuch as he removed himself from his wife’s bedroom window.
Following some further verbal exchanges Catisha still refused to unlock the door even at the police officer’s behest. This resulted in her husband phoning the Georgetown precinct of the Royal SVG Police Force in search of further assistance.
“Before the police came up there she come in one the small porch and picked up a bottle going to fire it after me.
“At the time some SSU officers were there for the Lottery, so one of the guys pulled me away and told me ‘man, come move yourself away from she’ so I did it.”
After sometime the dispatched officers arrived on the scene and Corporal Jack, according to Shallow, engaged his wife Catisha Pierre at the door.
“So I told her ‘excuse me please I need to get something from the house’ which was the rent money. So when I was going in she went into the first bedroom on the right hand side and she bring a screwdriver after me to stab me.
“I take away the screwdriver from her and give it to the police. And the police was holding her telling her to behave herself so by struggling and that with the police she probably got a little bruise and thing.
“And she said her hand get scrape but it could be either when the police them hold she, she hand get scrape or when I tried to take away the screwdriver from she my fingernail scraped her.”
A still agitated Pierre reportedly grabbed a knife “from the wares drainer” amidst police and her husband’s pleas to “behave herself,” Shallow told us.
“The police take away the knife from her and I went inside the bedroom to take out the money from the pants and was leaving to go pay the rent.”
On his way out of the house, Shallow reported, “she come behind me and started arguing. It have two glass shelf that was in my fridge, but they was on top the fridge so she take them and throw them at me so I slap her.
“And she push down the fridge. While I was taking back up the fridge she went into the bedroom and started throwing things all over the place. I had a jukebox there, she throw it on the floor hard. And she throw my two bats out of the window along with a basket of clothes.
“The police tell she wasn’t supposed to do that because if anything missing from outside deh, is she who have to pay for them. So I left and I went to pay the rent.”
He next saw his wife at the police station where he’d gone after paying the rent. She filed a report, he said and was given “doctor papers.”
Catisha Pierre tells the story from a slightly different perspective. Via a post on her Facebook wall in which she alleges domestic abuse at her husband’s hands, comes the first whiff of extra-marital affairs.
In part it reads, “today my husband put his hands on me an beat me up no[w] am at the hospital with doctor papers to confirm my abuse from him.
“Reason for me finding out that he have been cheating in our marriage for an I confronted him about the young lady he is seeking around with so he got violent with me, hitting me in my face, in my head [and] used his hands to box me in my tummy and bruise up my skin in the present of 3 police officers today. On top of that he telling me he will kill me like the woman in Park Hill.” [sic]
An exclusive phone interview with Catisha divulged another set of details. “The night before, a young lady came after me,” she opened up.
Apparently this unnamed assailant overheard a conversation between Catisha and “3 adults,” seemingly mistook comments made therein as barbs intended to malign her and reacted verbally with increasing overtures to physical violence. This scene, Catisha said, played out in the presence of her husband.
“But she took it personally upon herself and came to attack me claiming that I interfered with her and I get to understand that she and my husband have been having affairs behind my back.
“He got annoyed and the young lady wanted to fight me so I left and came upstairs in the house because I wasn’t in anything because I didn’t interfere with her.
“The same night my husband was throwing words at me, challenging me, threatening me and telling me that I would end up like the young lady in Park Hill and the girl should have stab me up.”[sic]
Heightened tensions spilled over to the following morning when, having slept in separate bedrooms, the couple’s paths crossed in their shared abode.
“He was on the phone with someone and the things he was saying to the individual about me it wasn’t nice.
“Then he started to say things to me and I turned to him and I said ‘please not this morning, I’m not in the mood, leave me alone please’.”
According to Catisha, “he told the person on his phone that he was going for his daughter to spend the day with him then he left and left the door wide open. I was in my room and I went and closed the door because I saw him leave.”
Having “locked the knob” on their house door, the alleged domestically abused women said she went to start her morning’s shower.
“When I went back to my bedroom for my body wash I saw him trying to come through my window.
After some exchange of words, during which Catisha admits to blocking Hyron’s access through her window “because he would have walked on my bed with his shoes.
“The officer heard the altercation from a distance and came and wanted to find out what was going on and told him to move from the window.
“He [Shallow] start to harass me, telling me he would break my hand and to move from the window eh he come through. The officer told him he can’t do that. I told him if he damage my hand I will throw my cup of coffee in his face ‘cause I had it on the dresser.” [sic]
That impasse was resolved as more officers turned up at the scene, she said.
Responding to one officer, she went to the front door and was relating what led up to that moment when her husband allegedly, “came to the door and started to attack me. Pushing me to get in the house and we started to wrestle up.
“We wrestled up until we got to the stairway inside the house. There’s a fridge there and we started to fight. I throw some glass at him and I turned over the fridge then the officer pulled him away from me and he decide he not giving up, he not giving up.
“He started to box me. He box me in my head and he started to wrestle up and the officers there you know. And we wrestled up until we ended up in the kitchen.
“I felt a screwdriver close to my hand and he wring it out of my hand and he raised it to stab me with it. The officer grab his hand the same time I touched a knife and the officer tell me to put it down. And they pulled a gun on him and restrained him.” [sic]
It was at this point that the police was able to exert some measure of control on the situation. They separated the warring factions and sequestered the wife in a bedroom where she was being asked to “cool down.”
Catisha, who is originally from Fitz Hughes further told ANN, “he came back in the room say he came for something and hit me one hard slap in my face and we started to fight,” again with the police officers present.
After another round of box and tussle, Catisha said, police was again able to get a grip on things and evicted her husband while inviting her to get down to the station where a formal report could be filed.
“They gave me two pieces of paper and told me to go up to the hospital to see the doctor. While I was at the hospital he followed me up at the hospital in the presence of other people. He started to make apologies but with whisper.
“He didn’t want anybody to hear him making apologies to me I started crying because he was telling me to come let’s go home. I must forget about the issue. He’s sorry for hitting me. He won’t do it again. Come let’s go home. Don’t make this go any further, don’t take him to Court. And I told him no he must get away from me.”
Shallow was arrested and spent that night in police custody. His wife was treated and discharged from the Georgetown Hospital.
He is adamant that his wife is telling nothing but lies for reasons he claim might be connected to his intermittent cash flow. He also made mention of an alleged jealous streak that also is the bane of their coexistence.
He disavowed the allegations she made saying, “that’s not true because even the police who were there were saying that’s not true because those things never transpired there…. Since me and that girl together I never abused that girl. We have contention yes but I never abused that girl.
“She come to me numerous times to stab me up in front of even police officers on different occasions and they asked me if I want to press charges against her and I tell them no. Down to yesterday and all one of the officers asked me if I wanted to press charges.”
The marks on her skin, if there are any, he attributed to her being “held by the police officers because she was wrestling up with the officers to get away from them to do what she want to do me but they hold her so by tangling up with them and wringing up and this and that that’s how she got the little bruises.”
As for her absence in Court last Friday, the mother of 2 preteen girls explained, “I did not know where the Court was taking place. I was not told and when the lady called and tell me they taking him to Court the morning she didn’t specifically say where.
“It was after I found out where the Court was taking place and what time. And I was home in a lot of pain… I had just took some meds and I was putting ice on my body and she told me I didn’t have to come.”
She also alleged, “the prosecutor Mr. Cato who prosecuted the matter are also friends very, very good friends of her husband. They grew up together. And that was not supposed to happen.”
For the sake of salvaging whatever peace is left between them, both persons are actively seeking alternative living arrangements though none is as yet forthcoming.
As for divorce proceedings: “I have been asking him for a divorce since last year because I keep finding out about him and other women. He went to lawyer Jack last year to find out how much it would cost and the lawyer give him a print out.
“He told me I would have to pay for it ‘cause I want it. I told him Ok,” Catisha said. Meanwhile Shallow admits “at the moment I really don’t have cash, right but I am thinking of a divorce. But I don’t have any cash at the moment so I’ll just wait and see what’s going on.”
Catisha Pierre has sought the services of lawyer Jomo Thomas and is expecting an audience with him sometime on Monday.