Diplomat testifies in robbery and indecent assault case
A Canadian diplomat today testified in the No 5 Supreme Court to feeling “absolutely terrified” not only for her own life, but that of her family, after she was allegedly robbed and indecently assaulted at gunpoint three years ago.
However, under cross examination from the alleged perpetrator Teddy Orlando McDonald Gill, who was self represented, Dr Nicole Giles, who is from Ontario, Canada, could only confirm that “yes, he was wearing a black ski mask” and was dark in complexion, while her husband admitted that he could not see the man’s face which was concealed by the mask.
Gill, of No. 77 Wanstead Gardens, St James, has pleaded not guilty to committing the offences of robbery, indecent assault and handling stolen property on April 7, 2015.
However, under questioning from Crown Counsel Neville Watson, Giles explained that at the time of the alleged incident she was not only serving as Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, but also as the ambassador to Suriname and CARICOM.
And while she and her husband Brian and their two young children were residing in Guyana at the time, they had decided to come to Barbados for “some rest and relaxation”.
On the aforementioned date they had stopped along the east coast at Barclays Park for a snack after visiting the Flower Forest.
Giles further explained that after her husband and children were finished eating, they went to the beach in search of shells, while she stayed behind.
It was then that someone wearing “a black ski mask with holes made for the eyes” walked up to her and pushed a gun to her temple “very hard”, she told today’s sitting, presided over by Madam Justice Pamela Beckles.
The assailant then reportedly ordered her not to look at him and she immediately looked to the ground but could still see him in her peripheral vision.
“He seemed quite strong . . . . He lifted me by the neck and carried me to the beach and pushed my head in the sand.
“I was absolutely terrified for my life, but my first thought was obviously for my children . . . who were 100 metres away from me,” Giles recalled.
“I was terrified that they would run towards their mother . . . and be shot and killed,” she added.
However, it was her husband who actually came in search of her, and was reportedly ordered by the assailant to go and fetch their belongings for the rented vehicle.
According to the diplomat, it was during that time that the alleged culprit pushed his hands into her pants and after feeling around asked: ‘How would you like a little bit of action?’
In response, she told him, “I am a diplomat . . . . This is not worth your while” which reportedly caused him to pause. She then repeated herself and he said, “‘Okay’ and tapped me on the shoulder”.
Her husband, who is a Canadian government employee, also testified today before the nine-member jury that when he ran up to his wife, he was asked to empty his pockets and to go get his wallet. He said, as ordered, he ran to the vehicle and grabbed the wallet, which contained his identification card, licence, BDS$400 and GUY$30,000. He also returned with a cellular phone belonging to the Canadian High Commission, keys to their Guyana residence, a digital camera and keys to the rented vehicle.
“I put it on the beach and the robber took it,” he said.
He also revealed that he was ordered to lay on the sand and could hear his wife saying that “she was a Canadian diplomat and it was not worth it”.
The accused then reportedly fled the scene while the couple sought help and contacted police.
The case continues tomorrow.