A young teenager who is the alleged victim in an indecency trial told a Grand Court jury Wednesday that she “cut” a video she made of defendant Errington Webster last summer.
In response to questions from defense attorney Steve McField about a video she took to police in July 2016, she said she had recorded it on her phone about three weeks earlier, when she was in Webster’s vehicle with him and he began to touch himself as he was driving.
The girl said she did not want to do the things Webster wanted her to do. She decided to videotape what he was doing because she “wanted these things to stop happening.”
Webster is charged with three counts of indecent assault relating to incidents that occurred before the video was taken. The video incident resulted in a charge of gross indecency. He denies the charges.
Mr. McField asked the girl about her smartphone, and she agreed, “you could add things onto it from other phones and computer, too.”
Questioned earlier by Crown counsel Darlene Oko who asked if she did anything to the video, the girl acknowledged, “I cut it shorter so I couldn’t see myself.” Ms. Oko asked if she did anything else and the girl said no, she did not know how.
Mr. McField suggested that she was blackmailing Webster and only wanted to see him in the picture. He asked who had helped her with the video. She answered, “Me, myself and I.”
She agreed that when she carried the video to police to “expose” Webster, she did not tell them about any previous incidents that involved him touching her. “I didn’t want to tell them because I was ashamed,” she said.
Mr. McField put to her the specific allegation of the three indecent assault charges and said Webster had never done those things. Her answers were basically, “Yes, he did.”
His final question was why she had continued to call Webster and ask him for money after all the things she said he had done to her. “I just wanted it,” she replied.
In re-examination, Ms. Oko asked the girl if she had done anything to the video other than take out the portion with herself. “No, ma’am,” the girl replied. She also clarified that all of the indecent touching occurred before she took the video.
Earlier, she had told the court that she took the video and kept it because, “If I was to accuse him of anything and didn’t have evidence then the whole case would be dropped.”
The girl’s mother gave evidence on Thursday. She said she knew the defendant from growing up in the area. More recently, she knew he was running for office and he would come by and speak about politics.
She said he and his family knew she was struggling as a single mother.
After December 2015, she became concerned when she saw Webster talking to her daughter by herself. The girl told her Webster talked to her about school because she had indicated what career she wanted to pursue. The girl was 13 at the time.
The mother asked if anything was said about sex “and she would always tell me, no.”
The mother said the first time she knew about Webster taking her daughter for food, it was with another child. The next time the girl went with Webster alone. The mother said she would not have allow that if she had known about it.
Ms. Oko asked the mother if she would have given Webster permission to buy her daughter clothes. She said yes, if he came to her first and if he treated her children equally.
The witness said she knew Webster showed a little more interest in one of her daughters than the other, but she did not know why.
She said her daughter had a phone and when she learned that the girl had a second phone, she asked where it came from. She then learned that Webster had bought a phone for both of her daughters.
Later, when questioned by Mr. McField, she said her daughters told her that Webster was trying to help everybody in the community so they would vote for him.
She was asked if she knew that the younger daughter had asked Webster for money. “Only for ice cream,” she replied, adding that he bought ice cream for everybody. She was not aware that her daughter had asked Webster for money to get her hair done.
She said she became aware of a video concerning Webster and her younger daughter when an adult phoned her. She was shown the video and “I was shocked,” she told the court. She went to police about it.
She agreed that she had financial difficulties and sometimes did not have money for school lunches. Once, when she needed to pay overdue licensing fees on her car, Webster gave her $400. “He just told me to remember to vote for him.”
Asked if she would have voted for him, she replied, “If this hadn’t happened, yes.” She added, “We didn’t expect this at all.”