Court throws out Colwyn Harding’s ‘baton sodomy’ lawsuit
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Colwyn Harding
Colwyn Harding

JUSTICE Navindra Singh, on Monday, dismissed the $80M lawsuit that Colwyn Harding had filed against the State after his attorney failed to attend the court hearing. Harding had approached the court seeking damages after being allegedly sodomised with a baton while in police custody. In November 2013 he was detained at the Timehri Police Station on the allegation that he had assaulted a police rank and had resisted arrest. He had contended that while in custody, officers pushed a condom-covered baton into his anus, causing him to suffer internal injuries. Constables Devin Singh and Roselle Tilbury-Douglas were fingered in the alleged assault and baton sodomy of Harding and were charged. However, in March 2016 the case against them were dismissed by Magistrate Leron Daly at the Providence Magistrate’s Court due to insufficient evidence. He had claimed that the two constables had beaten him during his detention until he lost consciousness. After regaining consciousness he had begun to complain of feeling pain and bleeding from his anus. However, doctors had reported that they did not see any signs of sexual abuse to support Harding’s allegations.

They noted that they observed the man to be suffering from an intestinal infection and condition. Harding in his High Court action had alleged that he was assaulted and battered by the ranks resulting in his sustaining injuries, and that his fundamental rights were breached as a result of the incident. He contended that a foreign object was inserted into his anus triggering a need for corrective surgery, and that he was repeatedly assaulted while in custody. The State had denied these claims, asserting that the medical evidence did not support Harding’s contention and that any surgical procedures undertaken were as a result of a medical condition he had developed. In the lawsuit, Harding sought damages in excess $100,000 and exemplary damages for assault and battery and in excess of $80,400,000 and exemplary damages for the breach of his fundamental rights. At Monday’s hearing the case was dismissed for want of prosecution after Harding’s attorney failed to appear in court. Harding was also ordered to pay the State $100,000 in costs for each claim, which amounted to a total sum of $200,000.

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