Trial began on Tuesday morning for former government minister Michael Thomas Adam, who has pleaded not guilty to common assault.

The first witness was the owner of a parcel of land adjoining Mr. Adam’s land. Words were exchanged between the two men on the morning of June 27, 2017, in the area of their common boundary, where markers were to be placed by a surveyor.

The complainant said there had been a meeting with the Registrar of Lands and the issue was ultimately resolved in Mr. Adam’s favor. He said Mr. Adam’s conversation with him on June 27 became hostile when he reminded Mr. Adam of what had transpired and questioned how could he possibly not recall it. He indicated that he used the word “senile.”

The witness continued, “He approached me and said, ‘Who you calling senile?’ He placed his right fist against my cheek with slight pressure.” The man said he felt threatened. He said Mr. Adam’s wife intervened and then Mr. Adam left.

He told the court he had made a recording of the incident on his phone.

Defense attorney Waide DaCosta suggested that the complainant was the aggressor and Mr. Adam had raised his fist in self-defense. The witness did not agree.

The surveyor who was present also gave evidence. He said he was there for a boundary dispute resolution. He thought the people present were on Mr. Adam’s property. When Mr. Adam and the other property owner began arguing, he walked away.

He was about 10 feet away when he heard the other owner ask Mr. Adam if he was senile. He heard a scuffle and when he turned around, he saw Mr. Adam rush toward the other man. Then Mrs. Adam ran between the two men and said she’d take care of it and they separated.

He said Mr. Adam had his fist up and was very irate; his fist was very close to the other man’s face.

Questioned by Mr. DaCosta, he said he did not witness an assault personally, but Mr. Adam’s back had been toward him. As far as he could recall, the other property owner had said he had his phone on “record” since he got there, but he didn’t tell anybody.

The case for the prosecution, conducted by Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson, was scheduled to continue after the lunch adjournment.

Mr. Adam was elected to the Legislative Assembly as MLA for George Town and then served as minister for community affairs and housing from 2009-2013.

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