Murder trial begins

Witnesses began giving evidence on Tuesday in the trial of John Talmage Goldbourne on a charge of murder.

Goldbourne is accused of murdering Maureen Marie Williams on 18 August 2004 at his residence in Birch Tree Hill, West Bay.

Ms Williams was 29.

In opening the case for the Prosecution, Crown Counsel Andre Mon Desir told jurors that a post mortem examination report would show a gunshot wound to Ms Williams’ head and 67 stab wounds.

Mr. Mon Desir began by explaining that murder is where someone with malice aforethought, implied or expressed, causes the death of another person by unlawful means.

He contrasted this with manslaughter, which consists of unlawful killing without malice.

He said this was important because it went to the root of what this case was all about.

Malice aforethought is also called the intention to kill or do grievous bodily harm, he explained.

The Crown would demonstrate by evidence to the requisite standard of proof that the defendant did what he did with the clear and deliberate intention to kill or at least cause very serious bodily harm, Mr. Mon Desir said.

He advised that jurors would be hearing psychiatric evidence as to the defendant’s state of mind at the particular time.

Mr. Mon Desir told the court that, days after the incident, the defendant was interviewed under caution in the presence of an attorney and he essentially claimed not to recall anything about the evening. Asked who was Maureen Williams, he said just somebody in a group of people that he would give a ride to church.

Based on his behaviour and claim not to recall, the defendant was examined by a psychiatrist. Mr. Mon Desir named three psychiatrists who saw the defendant.

Psychiatric exam

One said he did not believe the defendant was suffering from any diminished capacity and diagnosed him as malingering.

Another psychiatrist said the defendant was severely impaired by reason of a mental disorder that dissociated such functions as judgment, reasoning and decision-making from action.

In summarising the evidence the jurors would hear, he said the first witness would tell them that about five weeks before Ms Williams’ death, she noticed the defendant coming to Ms Williams’ house to pick her up, take her for groceries, take her to church and bring her back.

This witness told the court that when she first saw Ms Williams and the defendant together, she thought he was her employer. Then she realised he wasn’t her employer, he was her boyfriend.

Around 7pm on 18 August 2004, Ms Williams said she was going to work. Mr. Goldbourne drove in the yard and she left with him, this witness said.

Cross-examined by Daniel Janner QC on behalf of the defendant, the woman said she was not wrong about them being boyfriend/girlfriend. She had never seen them kiss but she had seen them holding hands.

Before cross-examining the second witness, Mr. Janner told the court there was no dispute that it was John who assaulted the woman.

This witness had explained that he rented his home from the defendant’s father and the defendant lived at the back of the house. On the night of the incident, between 9 and 10, he heard a lady’s voice bawling.

Call for help

He ran out of his house and heard the voice say (to the effect) ‘Murder, murder. Him a kill me. Kick off the door and help me. John a kill me with a knife.’

He ran and got another man who lived in the same yard. The female voice was bawling for help.

They weren’t able to open the door because it was locked, the lights were off and none of the windows could open.

He asked the other man to call police; it was about ten minutes before they came. Meanwhile John’s father came to the door and said John, John, what’s happening inside there? There was no response.

Then he heard an explosion.

Police eventually opened the door. He saw a lady lying down beside a settee. He saw the defendant at his bedside.

Questioned by Mr. Janner, the witness said the house was split in two parts and John lived alone at the back.

On the night of the incident John did not try to run away; he never saw him try to escape. He heard John’s voice saying ‘Shut up your mouth.’

Asked if John appeared to be a nice chap, he said he couldn’t say much about him. He agreed the defendant was soft-spoken and gentle in manner. He never saw John hit anyone before and never heard an argument between him and this woman before.

The neighbour who called police said he could hear a lady screaming, ‘Murder, somebody help me.’ His wife came behind him and they were all pounding on the door.

Questioned by Mr. Janner, he said the sound like a bullet came after they had been pounding on the door. He knew Ms Williams but he had never seen her at the apartment before.

His wife also gave evidence. She said when she followed her husband she heard a voice screaming for help. She also heard kicking on the side of the house, hitting and banging.

While her husband was on the phone with police, she asked Maureen, ‘What is he doing to you?’ She replied, ‘He is stabbing me up with a knife.’

The other man kept pounding on the door harder and Maureen said, ‘He is not going to open the door. Unna kick it off and come save me.’

But they were not able to get in.

This witness said Maureen’s cries grew weaker; then she stopped crying. There were two loud explosions from John’s room just as police arrived.

Asked if she knew Maureen before, she said yes and described her as having a calm spirit. Whenever they talked she was always smiling, mostly talking about her religion she had just accepted.

Questioned by Mr. Janner, she said she could not think of any reason why anyone would harm Maureen or why the defendant would harm her.

A neighbour whose house is 25 or 30 feet away said she heard a female voice crying and talking. She couldn’t make out what the voice was saying, but from the tone, it sounded as if she was pleading.

Mr. Janner is instructed by Attorney James Austin-Smith.

The trial judge is Mr. Justice Karl Harrison.