By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A FORMER hospital worker told a court a physician fondled her breasts and when she told him to stop he said she was "petty and touchy".
The woman pointed out Dr Lynwood Brown as the alleged culprit who reportedly told her she was being "too petty and touchy" after she knocked his hand away and threatened to report his actions.
Last July, Brown, a 38-year-old physician at Doctors Hospital and then prospective PLP candidate, pleaded not guilty to an indecent assault charge against him concerning the day in question.
His trial was set to begin on November 1 before Magistrate Guillimina Archer. At the arraignment, Brown's attorney, Devard Francis, argued that the charge was invalid as the complaint had been made too late.
Magistrate Archer said the charge was valid and proceeded with the arraignment.
Brown then hired Murrio Ducille to appeal the ruling in the Court of Appeal where the appeal was initially granted and the charge against him was discontinued.
However, in February, Ramona Farquharson-Seymour went to the Court of Appeal producing documented evidence signed by Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez that the matter was filed in time.
The case came back to magistrates' court yesterday, when the trial began, the doctor denying indecent assault.
The woman recalled the story to Mrs Farquaharson-Seymour, who is prosecuting the case.
"I reported to work," she told the court, adding that shortly afterwards she took a break.
"I went into the break room to get something out of my bag," she said.
The woman said when she went into the break room, two other women were in there along with Dr Brown.
Mrs Farquharson-Seymour interrupted her testimony to ask the complainant how long she had known Dr Brown.
Continuing to tell the story, the woman said: "I heard Dr Brown talking to [a woman] about how her breasts looked. I was amazed at what he said," she told the court.
She allegedly scolded him for his words and behaviour before he reportedly told her, "don't feel left out".
"He reached out and fondled my breasts, that's what he did. I hit his hand down and told him 'I'm not his wife and he's not my husband."
He reportedly said she was "too petty, too touchy".
She told the court she threatened to report what happened and walked out.
The woman said she first told her husband about the alleged assault, then the hospital's administration before contacting her attorney and taking the matter to the Central Detective Unit.
She denied inviting the doctor to touch her breasts.
In cross-examination, Mr Ducille asked the complainant several times if she was friends with the other two women, at the time of the alleged incident.
She said the woman first allegedly touched by Dr Brown was not a friend.
The defending attorney asked her if she gave a statement to the police a little more than a week after the incident.
"That was the last report," she said, explaining that she had spoken to the police on two other occasions.
Mr Ducille suggested to the complainant that the allegation she 'made up' was a retaliation to Dr Brown over a report filed on her with regard to her work.
She denied this.
She also denied that her termination from the hospital the following year was a result of "insubordination to her superiors".
Mr Ducille said: "Dr Brown didn't breathe on you, much less put his hands on your breasts and this is your way of getting back to him."
She said he did touch her and denied that this trial was her trying to "get back" at him.
In re-examination, she told the prosecutor: "I wanted the case handled...by anybody."
"The police, I expected them to investigate it and continue with the process."
The woman who was first allegedly touched by Dr Brown was called to the stand next. She alleged that during her time in the break room prior to the complainant's arrival, Dr Brown "started making comments about our breasts, the type of bra I was wearing".
She claimed he pulled the other woman's blouse open and "she pulled it back close".
She said they tried to ignore him and continue their conversation, though they were uncomfortable.
The court heard it was at this time that the complainant entered the room, though Dr Brown reportedly continued to comment about the woman's breasts.
She claimed the complainant then scolded him.
"He told her not to feel left out and he touched her breast. She knocked his hand out of the way and left," the woman said.
His alleged actions shocked her, she told the court.
Mr Ducille asked this witness if she was close friends with the complainant and she said "Yes".
Mr Ducille asked her about her statement to police, suggesting that she didn't put in her statement his client's alleged comments about her breasts looking good or him reportedly pulling down the other woman's blouse.
Mr Ducille accused the woman of contriving with the complainant and the other woman to destroy his client's reputation. She denied the claim.
The third woman was the last witness to take the stand. Her testimony corroborated that of the first two witnesses.
She told the court that she did not tell police Dr Brown reportedly pulled down her blouse because she did not want to get involved, did not like complications.
"If you cross the wrong doctor or person, you could get in trouble. So I usually just stay in my corner cause I don't like confrontation and plus I have a family," she claimed.
What changed her mind at the time was putting herself in the complainant's shoes and deciding to take a stand, she said.
She also claimed Brown contacted her days after the incident, telling her that revealing what happened would not just affect him but his family as well, she said.
Mr Ducille suggested that a number of statements revealed in her testimony were not in her police statement.
The witness agreed but said that it was due to police not asking her to elaborate on the 'sexual comments' when her statement was taken.
The case was adjourned until next month.