by Linda Straker
- Donal Kavanaugh and Sarah Hutton charged with causing harm to Evan Smith
- Smith accidentally killed a dog belonging to them
- Couple to make an appearance at St George’s Magistrate Court on 28 July 2020
Vannie Curwen, Head of the RGPF Community Relations Department is urging the public to allow legal due process to be the guiding principles in the matter in which a couple from Ireland physically assault a Grenadian national after he accidentally killed a dog belonging to them.
“I want to urge the public when we talk about justice we are talking about due process, and due process must have its place in this particular matter. Due process must require a thorough investigation, charges being laid and people having their day in court, and people having a fair trial,” Curwen said in a news conference on Monday, 29 June 2020.
The police announced in the news conference that the couple, Donal Kavanaugh and Sarah Hutton, was charged with causing harm to Evan Smith – the driver of the vehicle that killed the dog. The couple operates a sea safety business at one of the island’s marinas, and was placed on EC$10,000 bail with one surety.
“So, when we saying we want justice it is an indication there is no justice but is only 3 days ago this matter has happened, and we have already moved speedily to have 2 persons arrested and we are continuing to investigate,” Curwen said.
“This is not a matter that is being swept under the rug or sides are being taken for any reason. We have done what we have done as a professional organisation over the years and we will continue to do that,” Curwen said in his closing statement. “I assure the public that please give us an opportunity to thoroughly investigate this matter and to bring charges where charges need to be laid, and that everyone involved who have violated some sort of rules, some sort of regulations, will have an opportunity in court to defend their side of the story. I urged, and continue to urge for calm.”
Acting Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin, said that the matter continues to be under investigation. He explained that the initial call to the police was a report of a traffic accident but it was upon arrival at the scene that the officers realised the nature of the allegation.
Last Saturday, hundreds of Grenadians protested in the area where the dog was accidentally killed and where Smith was beaten. An eyewitness said that after the dog was killed, the Irish couple and their 2 minor age children physically assaulted Smith, leaving him with visible signs of abuse.
Smith’s wife is claiming that the police on the scene informed them that the matter can only be heard in a civil court. It was that information that caused the protest, during which, the main chant was “we want justice.”
The couple was charged on Sunday, and is set to make an appearance at the St George’s Magistrate Court on 28 July 2020. Causing harm carries a maximum fine of EC$3,000 and imprisonment of 12 months.