By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE wife of a man on trial for allegedly molesting a 13-year-old girl entrusted to her care said she would not cover for her husband, a jury heard yesterday.
The Crown’s last of five witnesses, known to the complainant and others as “Chubby,” made the statement after denying that she had ever housed the girl on weekends in 2012, the year in which the sexual assault is alleged to have occurred.
The defendant’s wife also told the court she knew of previous buggery allegations made against her husband. However, she said that the boy in that other matter said they were lies concocted by adults.
Her husband, 51-year-old Joseph Andrew Foulkes, sat in the prisoner’s dock listening to the evidence as she was questioned by prosecutor Raquel Whymms.
Foulkes has pleaded not guilty to the single count of unlawful sexual intercourse with which he is charged.
He has chosen to rely on the jury to make a decision on the Crown’s case with respect to the alleged crime, committed between January 1 and June 30, 2012,
instead of calling witnesses or giving sworn testimony.
Ms Whymms, Cephia Pinder-Moss and Darell Taylor are prosecuting the case while Bernard Ferguson is defending Foulkes.
Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs is the presiding trial judge.
In yesterday’s hearing, before the Crown called its last witness to testify, the nine-member jury heard from Dr Yolanda Griffin-Jones who had examined the girl in February 2013.
Dr Griffin-Jones revealed that the girl’s hymen was not intact. When cross-examined by Mr Ferguson, she admitted that she would have been able to obtain “hardcore evidence” from the examination if it had been done within 72 hours of the alleged incident, instead of nearly a year later.
The jury then heard from Foulkes’ wife, who said she has been married to the accused for eight years.
“Did you ever go to church in 2012?” Ms Whymms asked the witness.
“Nope” said the wife. She also denied that their son went to church in that year.
“Were you employed in 2012?” the prosecutor further probed.
“Yeah . . . (at) Paradise Island,” the witness replied.
“Are you sure?” the prosecutor asked. The witness said she was.
Ms Whymms, at this stage, attempted to have the judge deem Foulkes’ wife an “adverse witness” under Section 151 of the Evidence Act. However, Senior Justice Isaacs did not grant the application and motioned for the prosecutor to continue her questioning.
“Are you familiar with the Island Luck web shop through Miami Street?” the prosecutor asked. The witness said she was.
“Did you work there?” Ms Whymms asked. “Nope,” she replied.
“How much time did you spend there?” the prosecutor asked.
The witness said she was there almost every day, sometimes after work, adding that her hair-braiding workload was determined by the number of cruise ships in port.
When asked if she went there alone, she said her husband always accompanied her.
“You work on Sundays?” the prosecutor asked. The witness said: “Every now and again, Sunday is a short day.”
“In 2012, was your husband employed?” the prosecutor asked. The witness said he worked for Palm Plants during the regular work week.
“He’s off on weekends,” she added.
“During these weekends, he would sometimes be at home?” Ms Whymms asked. The witness said “yes.”
The prosecutor asked if the complainant spent weekends with her. The wife said “sometimes.”
“Can you describe the residence you occupied in 2012?” the prosecutor asked.
“It’s a one bedroom apartment,” the jury heard.
Prosecutor Whymms asked the defendant’s wife if she agreed that the complainant visited her house on occasions when she was not present.
“Once or twice, yes,” Foulkes’ wife said.
“In 2012?” the prosecutor asked. The witness denied this.
“In 2012 and 2013, she was not by me. Before then, yes she was but not in 2012, 2013,” the witness said.
“You love your husband?” the prosecutor asked the witness, who answered “yes.”
“You’d do anything for him?” Ms Whymms asked the witness who said, “Nope.”
“Did the complainant’s mother mention (that) your husband raped her daughter?” the prosecutor asked.
The defendant’s wife said she was made aware of the allegation during a confrontation with the girl, her mother, and the father who had recently been released from jail. The latter two, she said, had been threatening them.
Foulkes’ wife added that she told the girl she had nothing to fear from her and asked the girl if what she was alleging was true. The girl, she said, “rolled her eyes” and left their house before a scuffle ensued.
“You agree you were not always there with her?” the prosecutor asked.
“In 2012 and 2013, she was not by me,” the defendant’s wife replied.
In cross-examination, Mr Ferguson, the defendant’s lawyer, asked the witness where she had met his client.
“At a family party,” she replied.
“Was it love at first sight?” the lawyer asked. The witness said “yes”, but added that she “ain’t (going to) lie for nobody over nothing.”
“Do you hold out on him?” the lawyer asked. The defendant’s wife said “no”.
“You take care of your man?” Mr Ferguson asked the witness, who said “yes”.
Mr Ferguson then questioned the witness about the complainant and her living arrangements in 2012 and 2013.
The wife said that the complainant hardly lived with her mother during that time and was moving back and forth between various homes because of her attitude and disrespect for authority.
“Did you ever have to discipline her at your home?” the lawyer asked.
Foulkes’ wife said that she had done so in 2011 when she found the complainant on a laptop “talking to somebody inappropriately.”
“She was telling the person ‘carry your p, I’ll never like you no more,’” the witness added.
“And what did you do?” the lawyer asked.
“I slapped her and I told her mother about it. Her mother said I should have beat her, but I said ‘that’s your child you deal with it,’” the jury was told.
“During your eight years with Mr Foulkes, you know him to have an affair on you?” Mr Ferguson asked. His wife said no and denied he had ever been accused of such situations.
“Do you believe he did something like this?” the lawyer asked. The witness said no.
When re-examined, the defendant’s wife did admit to knowing of buggery allegations made against her husband. However, she said that the boy in that matter said they were lies made up by adults.
The trial may conclude today as closing arguments from the defence and Crown counsel and a summation of the evidence by Senior Justice Isaacs is expected.