By Latrishka Thomas
Seven months after he was acquitted of escaping lawful custody, alleged ‘Vampire Killer’ Delano Forbes was found not guilty of another offence.
Forbes was charged with wounding a prison officer during an incident that occurred at Her Majesty’s Prison on October 7 2020.
Since then, the 26-year-old inmate had maintained his innocence and represented himself in a two-day trial before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh in St John’s Magistrates’ Court.
On the first day of trial the complainant, prison warden Dwight Peters, testified that he, and another prison officer named Jackson, were attempting to restrain Forbes when the accused stepped into a puddle of water and slipped.
According to the Ottos resident, the inmate grabbed Jackson as he was falling, and they both landed on the floor and began to “scuffle” while on the ground.
Peters said he was able to pull Forbes off the officer but when he attempted to place foot chains on him, Forbes struck and injured him on the head with a disinfectant can, which subsequently required six stitches.
Peters’ signed medical form was admitted into evidence.
Jackson gave similar evidence, however he added that Forbes beat him with a scrubbing brush before striking Peters.
He also added that he pepper-sprayed the inmate into submission when he began hitting Peters on his head.
The third witness was the police investigator, Javid Alfred.
The constable was key to identifying the alleged weapon used to wound the officer — a Beep disinfectant can which was also admitted into evidence.
On the final day of the trial, the multi-murder accused was given three options: to remain silent, to give sworn evidence from the witness box and be questioned by prosecutors, or to tell his story from the defence box where he cannot be questioned.
Forbes chose to give evidence from the defence box and told the court: “I didn’t put my hand on them.”
His version of the ordeal, he said, began when was in the bathroom and the complainant heard him using expletives and decided to shackle him.
Forbes said that he asked the prison officer to take him to see the Superintendent of Prisons and because Peters denied his request, he in turn refused to let the officer restrain him.
“I pull away my hand and he start to wrestle with my hand,” the defendant said.
“That was when the second one [Alpheus Jackson] come behind Peters and try to hold me down and I slide pan the grung,” he continued.
Forbes said that Peters persisted and tried to shackle him while he was on the floor but he hit his head on a table in the process.
Thereafter, he told the court that he was pepper-sprayed and somehow cut with a key on his cheek, to the extent that he obtained a “nasty cut”.
“They don’t even carry me to the doctor,” he lamented.
Forbes’ story was a bit different from that of the three prosecution witnesses who gave evidence on January 25, the first day of trial in St John’s Magistrates’ Court.
Yesterday, Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh told the court that she couldn’t understand how Forbes was able to beat one officer with a scrubbing brush and still hit another with a can.
“I am confused as to how the incident happened,” the magistrate said. “What I don’t understand is how you got hold of those two officers and beat them. I am not sure that you hit Peters in his head since ya’ll were scuffling.”
Having her doubts, the Magistrate Walsh ruled in favour of the defendant whose face lit up on hearing the verdict.
As is required by law, if there is any reasonable doubt, the accused must be found not guilty.
Forbes is also facing four charges of murder. Those matters are still pending.