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‘Don’t trust their evidence’


RACHELLE AGARD

‘Don’t trust their evidence’
Attorney Andrew Pilgrim QC. (Picture by Shanice King)

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The evidence put forward by three sailors in the case against Private Shane Coulthrust should not be trusted.

That was the contention of Queen’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim yesterday in his 37-minute closing argument in the court martial being held at the Barbados Defence Force’s (BDF) Hodgson Hall, St Ann’s Fort headquarters.

“This evidence, I submit, may be highly unreliable. Don’t rely on all your training in the army. That is not the key in this. The key is what are the charges, what is the evidence and was it all proved. The answer is a plain and simple no. I can’t be a polythene dealer one day and a witness the next, and you don’t at least look at me with a certain level of scrutiny . . . . There is a reason why witnesses in that position have to be scrutinised,” he told the panel hearing the matter.

Coulthrust, 33, was originally facing 12 charges of misconduct associated with his actions while on duty as the coxswain aboard Coast Guard vessel The Endurance on April 19, 2019. He then held the rank of able-bodied seaman. The charges have since been reduced to nine on the advice of Judge Advocate Rita Evans. (RA)

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