My throat was slashed,’ witness tells Grand Court

Defendant charged with attempted murder

A man appeared in Grand Court Tuesday charged with the attempted murder of Blake Christopher Barrell, whose throat was slashed during an incident in downtown George Town on June 16 last year.

David Andrew Bodden is charged with attempted murder, with an alternative of wounding with intent to cause serious bodily harm.

Police officers were out in force after the daytime attack in downtown George Town June 17, 2015. - Photo: Brent Fuller
Police officers examine the scene after the daytime attack in downtown George Town June 17, 2015. – Photo: Brent Fuller

Mr. Barrell, giving evidence via video link from the United States, said he had spent 12 days in hospital after his throat and chest were slashed. Having lived his whole life in Cayman, he was now residing in Florida where he worked as a landscaper. Senior crown counsel Elisabeth Lees asked why he had left Cayman. “I was in fear of my life,” the witness replied.

On the day of the attack, he explained, he had driven to court in his father’s white Daihatsu. He was in court for drug offenses and firearm charges. He drove to town with two men and parked behind the public library.

He left court around 11 a.m. by himself and drove around to look for one of the men but did not see him, so he proceeded alone in the car down Fort Street toward Mary Street.

He was aware that Bodden was behind him in a Jeep Cherokee. Then there was an impact that smashed the back window of the Daihatsu. His car was crashed into more than once and he got out and ran.

He said Bodden chased him and caught up with him in front of the building housing the Appleby law firm. “We made contact then. We were wrestling … and holding each other.”

Asked what happened next, Mr. Barrell said, “Police separated us. I stood beside a police car where they told me my throat was slashed.” He said a police officer drove him to hospital, where he underwent surgery; he stayed in hospital until June 27 and left for the U.S. on July 6.

Questioned by defense attorney Amelia Fosuhene, he agreed that Bodden had grabbed hold of the collar of his shirt and contact had lasted only two or three seconds. He also agreed that when an officer pulled Bodden away, he did so in a downward movement.

He accepted that he did not know he had been injured until he moved away. He explained that the knife was so sharp he did not feel it. “It happened so fast. We came in contact and then we were out of contact. That’s all I know.”

He said the cut did not come from the car crash. Jurors saw photographs of the wound.

Mr. Barrell denied a suggestion from Ms. Fosuhene that he had shown “gun fingers” to Bodden when he first saw him on Fort Street. He denied being involved in any discharge of a firearm in the vicinity of Bodden’s home on June 8.

He agreed there was an exchange with Bodden on June 10, but said Bodden threatened him first.

Ms. Fosuhene suggested that Mr. Barrell had gone to the U.S. not because he was afraid for his life but because of what he had done on June 8 and June 10. “You’re wrong,” the witness replied.

Re-examined by Ms. Lees, Mr. Barrell said the firearm charge against him related to a bullet and the charge was dismissed. The drug charges still stand, he said. Asked about a charge of threatening to kill, he said it related to his own brother, not David Bodden.

The trial is scheduled to continue on Wednesday morning.