Beauty queen claims she was victim in assault case

| 06/12/2022
Cayman News Service
Tiffany Conolly arriving at court Monday

(CNS): The Miss Cayman Islands Universe title holder denied assaulting her ex-boyfriend’s father when she appeared in court on Monday. Tiffany Conolly (24), from West Bay, who faces several charges of assault and damage to property, claimed she was the victim during a chaotic night in October last year when she went to the home where her boyfriend and his father lived. Conolly, who said she had mental health problems at the time, told the court that she had gone to visit at her ex-boyfriend’s request but was greeted instead by his angry father.

She refuted the crown’s claims that she was the aggressor against the two men and had gone to the house uninvited.

When the trial started in October, prosecutor Sarah Lewis outlined the crown’s case, which was that Conolly, in an angry rage, had lashed out at her former boyfriend’s father and her former boyfriend, and had smashed up two cars before being arrested. She then engaged in another angry assault at the police station, which was caught on CCTV.

But when she took the witness stand, Conolly claimed she was the victim after being “deliberately set up”. She accused her ex-lover’s father of opening the door, shouting at her and pushing her down the steps. She said she tripped and fell, and as she did the man also fell on her, pinning her to the ground. He then pounded her on the pavement, telling her she was going to jail. As she answered questions from her own attorney, Oliver Grimwood, she related her version of events, in which she claimed to be afraid and the victim of the aggression, not the perpetrator.

Conolly told the court that while there were always feelings between herself and the man’s son, the pair were never in an official relationship but had spent time at each other’s homes and on his boat. She said they met when she sold him her car, which she claimed he had not finished paying her for. On the night of the assault, she said, she had gone to see him at his request, but the relationship was coming to an end.

Although the court had heard that her ex had sent messages to her telling her not to come, Conolly insisted that he had called numerous times asking her to come over to talk. “I went because I trusted the voice I heard during the call, as opposed to the messages which could have been sent by someone else who had access to his phone,” Conolly said under oath.

But when she arrived, she said, his father flew out of the house and attacked her. He held her down on the ground and she tried to fight back, eventually pulling at his shirt to get away. But he came after her and continued to forcefully restrain her. She said she saw his son arrive and became afraid they would both attack her. “I felt threatened and wanted to keep him at hands-length, or legs length… so I kicked him in the groin,” she said.

Conolly denied throwing a bicycle that she had ridden to the location onto a car that was owned by her boyfriend’s father, also denying that she had ridden there, claiming that she had walked. But she admitted that she threw a brick into the windscreen of the car her boyfriend had bought from her. She said she felt the car was really still hers as he still owed her $900.

Conolly told the court that when the police arrived, they were very rough with her. Without explaining what was happening, they handcuffed her and pushed her into a patrol car. She said she was very distressed. At the police detention centre, the video shows that when she arrived, Conolly sat quietly in the waiting area for around 30 minutes.

But when the police asked for her jewellery, the situation exploded, and Conolly is accused of punching a police officer in the face. While the CCTV views were slightly obscured, she was clearly angry and upset, throwing a chair as she cursed at, and fought with, the police officers. Saying that she had become extremely distressed, she said she told these strangers intimate details of her mental health issues and past traumas, but they dismissed her and accused her of making excuses.

Conolly alleged that the policewoman was taunting her and she was being treated roughly by the officers, so she lashed out while they were pulling rings from her fingers.

Although Conolly has not been stripped of her Miss Cayman Islands Universe title, she is suspended from making public appearances until after the case against her concludes.

The case is expected to conclude Tuesday evening, but Magistrate Philippa McFarlane is unlikely to deliver her verdict until the New Year. As a result, the local pageant’s first runner-up, Chloe Powery-Doxey, will represent the Cayman Islands at the Miss Universe pageant in New Orleans in January.

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