A man facing a murder charge in the death of a Guyanese woman said he was stripped naked, wrapped in plastic, waterboarded and shocked in the genitals by policemen while in custody.
Andrew Harclyde Pollard appeared in the No. 2 Supreme Court today where he gave evidence in his trial. Pollard, of Mahaica Gap, Green Hill, St Michael, is on trial for the March 2014 murder of Onicka Gulliver. The 23-year-old Guyanese woman was strangled to death and her partially nude and decomposing body found in a bushy area at Vaucluse, St Thomas.
Speaking from the witness stand, Pollard recalled being at work when the arrest was made. He said he was a crane operator at the time and as he stood by the crane a police jeep approached.
“I showed up to work, punched in…I was standing by the crane, on my phone…I see like the police jeep pull up. Looking down I see a shadow…a gentleman [then] snatched my phone”, Pollard recalled.
When the accused questioned the officer’s actions, he replied: “We want you.”
He was then placed in the police jeep and carried to the District “A” Police Station at Station Hill St Michael. Whilst there, Pollard’s wallet, bag and cellphone were taken, according to him. He said he was asked to take his clothes off and was subjected to a search.
At some point he was taken to a room and told that he was there in connection with a missing person. He was then questioned about whether he knew the missing individual and what the relationship was like.
“I said that we used to be together but …we was friends for a good little while. If she want me to do anything for her…I would,” he stated.
After this line of questioning, Pollard said things started to go “downhill”.
“They started beating me,” Pollard told the court, after one of many short pauses.
“At first it was just a couple kicks, a couple cuffs and then it gravitated towards a lot more severe punishments.”
He explained that he was told to strip while a female officer was in the room.
“Basically I still in my boxer…I said they have a female officer in the room. They said she got children she know what I got already,” he continued.
Newspaper was wrapped around his hands, he was handcuffed and he was questioned more.
A big reel of plastic wrap was then brought from a drawer and Pollard said they started to wrap him from his ankles all the way up.
“When they got to my shoulders…the officer say ‘so you ain’t saying nothing’. I said but I ain’t have nothing to say and the man wrapped my head completely and start punching me. I start to suffocate, there was no air, I tried breathing…fighting…eventually I just passed out.”
The accused said he was then awakened and the wrap was torn from his face.
Pollard recalled being in custody for “six to seven days”.
The treatment meted out to him got “worse”, he claimed.
“I was there naked, they put me in a chair and one officer went and got something like a wire… and the two ends were spliced, the raw wire exposed and they shocked my genitals,” he told the court.
He said he urinated at one point and he witnessed the officers “mopping” his genitals” and the “urine on the ground”.
Pollard also said a gun was pushed in his mouth, damaging a tooth and leaving his lip torn and face swollen. The accused further explained that he suffered from waterboarding and was not allowed to eat. Furthermore, he said, he found out his mother had been bringing food for him but he never got it.
After doctor visits Pollard said he “never got medication to take” and suffered more beatings after officers tried to get him to sign a paper and he refused.
“My statement was one page…this statement four,” Pollard recalled.
The prosecution, led by Deputy Director of Prosecutions Alliston Seale, sought an adjournment and the matter will continue on September 17. Lawyer Sydney Pinder represented the Pollard.