Crown experts reject Webster’s claims of impairment

| 15/06/2017 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two medical experts called to examine claims by Errington Webster that his consumption of grapefruit juice, a bottle of Guinness and a herbal remedy, plus an extra dose of hypertension and cholesterol medication caused some kind of delirium said this was very unlikely. While Dr Marc Lockhart, a local leading psychiatrist who gave evidence on behalf of the defence, said there was a “reasonable possibility” that the herbs, juice and medicines could have had an impact on his behaviour, he admitted that he had not seen the video at the heart of the case against Webster for sexual assault.

Webster (55) has claimed that he has no memory whatsoever of masturbating in his car in front of the 13-year-old girl, whom he is also accused of indecently assaulting on three other occasions. The act was videoed by the victim but Webster has refused to accept his guilt on this count. He has said that he could not have been in his conscious mind to commit such a “nefarious act” and that something is wrong as he is right-handed and the video shows him holding his penis with his left hand.

The jury has also heard that Webster believes that he was “jooked” in the neck, possibly by the girl, shortly before the video was taken, when he was driving back from George Town to Bodden Town after taking her shopping. He has also suggested that a combination of prescription drugs, grapefruit juice, the bottle of stout beer, a herbal remedy he was unaware was in the juice used for flushing belly fat and no food that day made him lose his mind or become delirious and suffer amnesia for just a two brief periods that day.

He claims the first blackout was just before the video of him masturbating and the second was when he arrived home and came to on the floor of his car port.

Dr Lockhart examined the ingredients in the herbal remedy and found a “reasonable possibility” of psychological reactions, but he admitted he did not know the quantities of the herbs consumed in what was said to be an over-the-counter remedy. He did not know the components of some of the herbs and did not have a sample of the remedy, but he said that online searches have revealed some possible reactions that could impair and impact behaviour or cause confusion and delirium. He said that the crown experts were wrong to conclude that there was no possibility of impairment in the way suggested by the defence.

Two doctors from the United States brought by the prosecution, a psychiatrist and a forensic toxicologist, both refuted any “reasonable possibility” of real impairment as a result of what he had consumed.

Dr Wade Cooper Myers, a psychiatrist, said it was not medically credible for Webster to have suffered some kind of behavioural impairment as a result of the consumption of medication, juice, stout and herbs that would have led to the organised sequence of events that day. He said nothing he consumed could account for preventing him from knowing what he was doing when he committed the sexual act.

Dr Myers said there is “no compelling evidence at all …that somehow it led to a delirious state …or him being out of his mind.”

Both of the doctors who were witnesses for the crown had looked at the evidence in the case, including the video. Dr Myers also examined Webster and reviewed Dr Lockhart’s psychiatric assessments, which suggested Webster had a psychopathology towards dishonesty, manipulation and poor impulse control, with an unwillingness to take responsibility. The visiting doctor said he agreed with the results of Lockhart’s tests.

The toxicologist, Dr William Lee Hearn, who also has a specialist interest in ethno-biology and the herbs in local remedies, also disputed that the reaction Webster may have had to the combination of herbs, juice, Guinness and drugs could have lowered his blood pressure, which would have been inclined to make him pass out, but he too dismissed the idea that anything he consumed could have had the kind of impact on Webster as he has claimed.

Dr Hearn also said there was no scientific evidence in the defence psychiatric report that Webster could have been impaired to the such an extent that he was completely unaware of what he was doing for an isolated moment because of a herbal remedy.

The case continues.

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