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Cutlass Victim Tells Lawyer She Has Screw Loose

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A MAN testifying in Supreme Court about an attack on his life by a cutlass-wielding man told the defending attorney cross-examining him yesterday that she had a screw loose in her head.

John Lubin lost his composure under Ramona Farquharson-Seymour’s questioning on his evidence to the point that he called her out on her “tricky questions” that he claimed were aimed at playing with his mind.

Many minutes into cross-examination, then she suggested to him that he was getting irritated following her questioning him about his stealing and shop breaking conviction a month after the alleged attempt on his life, when he made the comment about the “screw.”

“I think you is lose a screw. I really don’t know what’s wrong with you,” he told Mrs Seymour, doing the rotating finger gesture to the side of his head.

Justice Vera Watkins, interrupted the trial to inform Lubin that for his own benefit, a factor of his evidence’s credibility to be determined by the jury, will be his reaction to questions.

“Try to keep calm,” she told him for a third time yesterday.

While this went on, 36-year-old Nicole Octelus sat in the prisoner’s dock observing and listening.

Octelus of Godet Avenue Carmichael Road faces an attempted murder charge. It is claimed he tried to murder Lubin on September 29, 2007. Octellus denies the charge.

On Wednesday, Lubin told the court what took place around 10pm on the day in question.

Lubin said he was at a residence owned by an old man known as “Daddy Joe” on Cowpen Road when the incident occurred.

“Nicole Octelus then came to the house, knocked on the door, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! saying POLICE! POLICE!” the court was told.

Lubin said that “Daddy Joe” opened the door and Octelus came inside wielding a cutlass. Octelus aimed his cutlass for Lubin’s head, which forced him to raise his arm to protect his head.

Yesterday, Mrs Seymour resumed her cross-examination of the prosecution witness concerning the lighting conditions at “Daddy Joe’s” house.

“Mr Lubinm you said Daddy Joe’s house had a generator. Do you accept the 15th-16th of September he did not have a generator?” she asked.

“He had a generator,” Lubin answered.

“Two weeks prior to the alleged incident, the only light he would’ve had, had been a candle or a lamp,” the attorney suggested.

“No ma’a,” Lubin replied.

“I suggest you would’ve said this to the court before,” Mrs Seymour then said.

“About a lamp?” he asked.

She allowed him to read a document of his evidence from the magistrate’s court where a preliminary trial had been heard.

“Did you say to the court that he had electricity, Mr Lubin?” the attorney asked.

“He had a generator ma’am,” Lubin maintained.

Justice Watkins asked him to answer the question put to him by the attorney and Lubin said “it wasn’t for BEC, but he had light.”

Mrs Seymour asked Mr Lubin to answer her question and he said, “Yes, it in the paper ma’am, yes ma’am.”

The attorney then suggested he was the one to open the door that night of the alleged attack and not Daddy Joe.

“Daddy Joe opened the door,” Lubin responded.

Regarding the men Lubin testified about standing guard at the front door, the attorney asked: “Isn’t it true Mr Lubin, you stated previously the men had rocks and were bursting you with the rocks?”

“I can’t remember,” he said.

“You have selective memory?” the attorney asked him.

“No” he answered.

“These men, they were wearing masks?” Seymour asked next.

“No” the complainant said.

“You said you knew them by face?” she asked.

“Yes,” said Lubin.

“Did you point them out as well to the police?” the attorney asked. He told her he only told the police who chopped him.

“Mr Lubin, I suggest to you, you’re lying to this court about what really happened to you on the 29th of September, 2007,” the attorney said. He disagreed with her suggestion.

Mrs Seymour suggested further that “when you gave evidence in the Magistrate’s Court, that they would kill you, you never said that.”

“I said plenty things. I couldn’t remember,” he replied.

Regarding the men standing guard, “In Magistrate’s Court, you said you could not identify them.” Lubin denied her suggestion and said that “If I see them, yes I can.”

“But you told the Magistrate’s Court, no,” the attorney suggested.

“I don’t know,” Lubin said.

She then suggested that contrary to what he told the court on Wednesday, he told the police in his statement that he himself made the call for assistance. Lubin denied this and told her, “I don’t know what you’re trying to do with my mind. Since you want me to answer your question, I don’t remember calling the police.”

His statement was shown to him to allow him to refresh his memory and Mrs Seymour repeated her previous suggestion, much to the annoyance of Mr Lubin.

“Gimme a chance to answer the question! You’re not giving me a chance to answer the question! Yes that’s in my report,” he said.

The attorney suggested to him that he was not being truthful to the court. “Das a lie,” he replied.

She then asked him, “Is it true you were shot in the shoulder two weeks prior?”

This question was met with an objection by prosecutor Anthony Delaney and the judge excused the jury to have a legal discussion with counsel.

Minutes later, the jury was allowed to return and the defending attorney to resume with her question.

Lubin’s answer to it was, “No ma’am.”

“I suggest to you would’ve told the court this before,” she said.

“Me?” he asked.

“Yes, you,” the attorney answered.

“Das a lie,” Lubin answered.

When the statement was given to him to read over, he said, “I don’t need it cause I wasn’t shot.” The attorney asked him to read the statement, but Lubin did not budge.

“You told the court on the 7th June you got shot,” Mrs Seymour suggested.

An irritated Lubin lifted up his shirt for the court and asked the attorney if she saw any gun shot wound, tracing over the long scar on his right shoulder as he asked her.

The judge told him to put his shirt down, but he defended his actions calling the attorney’s questioning “nonsense.”

Mrs Seymour asked him if he was embarrassed and he said, “I’m not embarrassed.”

“I’m sick of your lies and foolishness,” the court heard from the complainant.

“Are you angry Mr Lubin?” the attorney asked.

“You tryna get me angry?” he retorted.

She suggested that he was “angry because we’re seeing through your lies.”

“She’s a liar!” he said loudly.

“Mr Lubin, you can’t tell her she’s a liar,” Justice Watkins chastised him, adding that Mrs Seymour was doing her job asking questions and he needed to answer them.

“She’s a lawyer, she gets paid to lie,” he retorted. The judge asked him to calm down and answer the question.

The defending attorney then suggested to Lubin that two weeks before he got into a fight with males over a female asking him for a dollar.

“That’s a lie,” he said soon after the suggestion.

Seeing the mounting irritation, it was suggested to Lubin that he take a moment.

“I take plenty moments,” he answered. When she asked him if he was okay, he said: “Never better.”

“I’m suggesting you told the police around the same time, you were in a fight by the Mud bar with males over a female,” the attorney said.

“I cannot answer it because that’s a whole other matter!” he answered.

She further went to suggest something and he asked “why you doing this?”

Justice Watkins told Lubin to answer the question.

The attorney then direction her line of questioning to his employment, or lack thereof around the time of the alleged incident.

“You used to steal back then didn’t you?” she asked.

“I won’t lie. I been to jail for two years for stealing and shopbreaking and that’s my past,” he answered.

“Just be straight up with me. Don’t try use no tricky questions with me. Your client try to kill me and that’s all I need to know,” he added.

She then asked him about his conviction on October 30, but irritated, he answered, “I’m not denying my past! That’s my past! It has nothing to do with this.”

“Mr Lubin, are you right or left handed?” the attorney asked.

“I don’t know. Since you know more than me,” he said, adding that “you been messing with my mind all morning and I don’t like that.”

She asked him the question again and he said: “I got two hands I could use the two of my hands.”

It was at this point that he made the comment about the “screw.”

“I think you is lose a screw. I really don’t know what’s wrong with you,” he told Mrs Seymour, doing the rotating finger gesture to the side of his head.

Justice Vera Watkins, interrupted the trial to inform Lubin that for his own benefit a factor of his credibility, to be determined by the jury, will be his reaction to questions.

“Try to keep calm,” she told him for a third time.

“Would you lie on yourself your honour,” he turned to the judge.

“No,” she answered, “but try to keep calm,” she told him.

As to Lubin’s previous testimony that he and her client used to drink and smoke together, she said this was not so. He said that it stopped after the incident.

She then suggested to him that on the day in question, the people in his neighbourhood were looking for him because he had just done a break-in.

“No,” he said.

“I suggest to you they were. They were angry,” she suggested. He dismissed her suggestion.

Prosecutor Delaney re-examined the witness and asked why he went to the hospital on September 29, 2007.

“I got chapped,” Lubin answered.

The jury returns to court on Tuesday at 11am. However, Mrs Seymour asked to make a legal submission to the court. That will take place on Monday, September 10.

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