‘I don’t know how I got in this mess’

Tanya Demeritte outside court this week. Photo: Dante Carrer

Tanya Demeritte outside court this week. Photo: Dante Carrer


Tribune Staff Reporter


A WOMAN who accepted a plea deal in the criminal trial of Adrian Gibson and others said she was surprised when police charged her with fraud-related offences because she did not know how she “got in this mess”.

Tanya Demeritte continued her testimony yesterday as Senior Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson presided.

Under cross-examination by Mr Gibson’s attorney, Damian Gomez, KC, Ms Demeritte confirmed that she was arrested and charged, but later took a plea deal.

She admitted she made false statements to the police, saying she did so out of fear and confusion.

She said she was “confused and lost” about the ordeal.

She disagreed when Mr Gomez suggested she would say anything to save herself from going to jail.

 “Why would I want to do that, sir?” she asked. “I don’t want to go to prison, so why would I say anything, and I don’t know nothing?”

 Ms Demeritte said she shouldn’t have been involved in “this foolishness” and that she was only helping Alexandria Mackey, Mr Gibson’s ex-fiancée.

 She had previously testified that Mrs Mackey asked her to become a director of Elite Maintenance, a company to which WSC awarded several contracts when Mr Gibson was executive chairman.

 Asked how long she had known Mrs Mackey, the witness said she had known her family for about 20 years, but had no relations with her.

 “It was me and her mom who had the relationship,” she said.

 She also claimed that Mrs Mackey’s mother, her spiritual advisor, paid her a compensation fee to WSC as part of her plea deal.

 Mr Gomez asked if she had ever spoken with Mrs Mackey about her testimony yesterday.

 Ms Demeritte said no, claiming she didn’t even know where Alexandria was.

 “Did Mr Cash advise you what to say?” Mr Gomez asked, referring to her former lawyer, David Cash. 

 No, she replied.

 Mr Gomez also questioned the witness about the validity of her police statements.

 “Do you recall on the 20 of April 2022, having told police that you were at Water and Sewerage Somerset house building situated on University Drive, that for the very first time you met a slim five foot six-inch tall dark woman?” he said.

 Ms Demeritte interrupted him, saying she was confused at the time.

“So you made up a story,” Mr Gomez said.

 She replied that she was confused.

 When asked if the woman to whom she had referred was Mrs Mackey, Ms Demeritte said: “No, I was just making it up.”

 Mr Gomez showed her the witness statements, where she named Mrs Mackey as the woman she allegedly met at WSC for the first time.

 “You would accept, would you not, that your statement to having met Alexandria Mackey for the very first time in this statement was untrue?” Mr Gomez asked.

 Ms Demeritte repeated that she was confused.

 Mr Gomez added: “But in that very statement, you told the police, is it not so that a strange lady who you came to know as Alexandria Mackey asked you to go on some yard cleaning site that she only paid you $300 to $400. Do you recall telling the police that?”

 The witness said she didn’t remember what she said because she was “confused” and “scared” at the time.

 “You’ll say anything if you’re sitting (with) police with all these questions,” she added.

 Mr Gomez pointed the witness to other statements she had made to police and suggested she told a series of lies.

 “Because I confused,” she replied. “I said that. I can’t take it back.”

 Mr Gibson, the MP for Long Island, is facing several charges concerning his tenure as WSC executive chairman under the Minnis administration.

 The charges stem from Mr Gibson’s alleged failure to declare his interest in contracts awarded by the WSC.

 The FNM politician is charged with several others, including Mr Elwood Donaldson, Jr, former WSC’s general manager, Peaches Farquharson and others.

 Mr Gomez, KC, Mr Murrio Ducille, KC, Bryan Bastian, Ryan Eve, Raphael Moxey, Ian Cargill and Donald Saunders represent the defendants.

 In addition to Ms Cordell Frazier, the Crown’s lawyers include Cashena Thompson, Karine MacVean and Rashied Edgecombe.

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