Benjamin Charles also Known as Benjamin Brown Appellant v The Queen Respondent [ECSC]

JurisdictionCaribbean States
CourtEastern Caribbean Supreme Court
JudgeCECIL LEWIS, C.J.(Ag.), Acting Chief Justice
Judgment Date30 Jan 1973
Neutral Citation[1973] ECSC J0130-1
Docket NumberCriminal Appeal No. 9 of 1972
[1973] ECSC J0130-1



The Honourable the Acting Chief Justice

The Honourable Mr. Justice St. Bernard

The Honourable Mr. Justice Louisy(Ag.)

Criminal Appeal No. 9 of 1972

Benjamin Charles also Known as Benjamin Brown
The Queen

K. John for the appellant

Miss M. Joseph (Legal Assistant) for the respondent

The judgment of the court was delivered by —

This is an appeal by Benjamin Charles also called Benjamin Brown who is hereinafter referred to as "the appellant" against his conviction at the Kingstown Assizes on November 1, 1972 of the murder of one Agatha Durrant which the Crown alleged took place on March 18, 1972.


The appellant and Agatha Durrant were living together from the year 1947. When the appellant went to live with the deceased she already had four children and she subsequently had nine others of whom he was the father.


Two children of the family gave evidence for the Crown. They were a fifteen year old boy named George Durrant and his sister Gloria, aged ten. George Durrant is not the son of the appellant. His father is a man called Edward Pope who had been living in Trinidad, but Gloria was child of the appellant and the deceased.


On the morning of March 17, 1972, the appellant went to the mountain and during his absence, George Durrant's father, Edward Pope, visited the house in which the appellant and the deceased were living at Higher Lowmans. He was seen to go thereby their neighbour Claretha Harry who lived about 15 yards away and she said he had returned from Trinidad that day.


When the appellant returned from the mountain and was passing Claretha Harry's house, she gave him some of his clothes which had been sent there by Agatha Durrant earlier in the afternoon. Jessie Brown had brought them. Claretha Harry told the appellant that Edward Pope was in the house. He went along to the house where he spoke to Edward Pope and to Agatha Durrant, who told him that his dinner was outside on the dresser. He replied "so much years me and you living in the home and you never leave my dinner outside and all you woman is traps because I had my house and you make me sell it to get married."


Edward Pope told him that he had come to visit the children and that he was not staying. He offered him a drink and the appellant told him he neither drank nor smoked. There is, however, evidence from the boy George Durrant that Edward Pope not only remained in the house but actually slept in the same bed with his mother.


The appellant left the house and went to the neighbour Claretha Harry's house where he got his pyjamas from the clothes which had been sent to her, then he went to sleep in a little house in her yard. The following morning he returned to the house in which himself and Agatha Durrant were living. He found her sweeping out the house and told her he had come for the balance of his clothes and both of them "went in the chamber". She gave him his clothes and he asked her for something in which he could put them. According to a statement which he made to the police, she offered him a small suitcase which belonged to the children, but he refused it saying it was too small. He then told her that he had brought plenty things from Barbados and she could give him something better to put the clothes in, and she handed a sheet but he told her that he did not want any sheet. He explained his refusal to accept the sheet in his statement to the jury by saying it was the sheet on which Agatha Durrant and Edward Pope had slept.


The little girl Gloria was present and she described what occurred in the following words:

"My father spin around and spin around until he got an iron for ironing clothes and started to beat...

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