The trial of a man accused of kidnapping the mother of his child began in the No. 5 Supreme Court Tuesday.
Fitzgerald Agard, 45, of Pool #2, St John, is charged with assaulting Veronica Arthur on February 2, 2012 and unlawfully removing her from Roberts Road, Haggatt Hall, St Michael without her consent. He has denied both charges.
Madam Justice Jacqueline Cornelius and a nine-member jury – comprised of seven women and two men – are hearing the case which is being prosecuted by Senior Crown Counsel Kyrstal Delaney.
Tuesday morning, the alleged victim took the witness stand. It was disclosed that she and Agard had an agreement that he would collect her and the child from their Burke’s Village, St Joseph home and drop them off at work and school.
On the day in question, Arthur told the court Agard arrived at her workplace, the US Embassy, about 5:10 p.m., and was behaving in an aggressive manner.
She said they later went to Digicel in Haggatt Hall to get a problem with her phone rectified, and when she got back to the car, “he was still behaving . . . aggressive”.
“I said that I was not getting into the car but he said he was only joking and I got in,” Arthur continued.
However, she said, Agard’s driving got “reckless” and she asked him to stop the car. He refused and Arthur said she eventually got out of the vehicle while it was still moving.
The woman testified that she held on to a fence and “next thing I know I got an unexpected cuff to the left side of my face from Fitzgerald”.
“I let go of the fence . . . he put me into the car and . . . began driving reckless,” Arthur continued in response to Delaney’s questions.
She said the two subsequently went to Market Hill, St George and she was able to escape about 7:40 p.m.
“I ran across the road . . . . I got a lift,” said Arthur, who maintained that her relationship with Agard came to an end in February 2012.
She said she was dropped off at the police station where she reported the matter, but never sought medical attention.
In his cross examination of Agard, the accused, who is representing himself, asked her whether she did not walk past him and go to another car when he came to pick her up from work.
She agreed, saying that she was speaking to the person from whom she had bought the phone, and it was only for a few minutes. However, Agard maintained it was about 25 minutes.
The accused man suggested to Arthur that he walked past her and went to see who was in the car, but she told the court that she could not recall him getting out of the car.
He further suggested that he left Arthur in Haggatt Hall after he saw the same man who was in the car, in the area. However, she denied the charge.
Two police officers, Julian Barker and Fabian Duplesis, also gave evidence in the case.
When it was his turn to testify, Agard gave an unsworn statement from the dock.
“That is my child mother. I lived with her at that time. I took her to work first and then the child to school. I come back for her on the evening,” he said about Arthur.
He testified that when he went to collect Agard, she passed him and he called her back and then he went to see the gentleman she was talking with.
“I went back in my car and she came in the car saying she going to Haggatt Hall,” Agard continued, adding that he dropped off Arthur at the location, but “the same gentleman was in Haggatt Hall”.
“I came back out . . . went to my car. . . . I had keys to her place, took up my things and leave; nothing else,” Agard concluded, saying that he was arrested by police a month later.
Moments later, he presented closing arguments to the jury, saying what happened on the day in question was exactly as he had testified.
The case resumes Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., when the judge will sum up the case before sending the jury to deliberate.