Wed | Oct 4, 2023

Glass found blended in porridge given to Slickianna murder accused, says attorney

Patterson denied bail after latest hearing

Published:Wednesday | March 22, 2023 | 12:31 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Aneka ‘Slickianna’ Townsend.
Aneka ‘Slickianna’ Townsend.


High Court Justice Andrea Thomas on Tuesday denied bail for Rushawn Patterson, the man charged with the murder of Aneka ‘Slickianna’ Townsend, despite his attorney raising health and safety concerns as the prosecution painted him as a contradictory figure with a violent history.

Patterson’s lawyer, Dionne Meyler-Barrett, also told High Court Justice Andrea Thomas in the St James Circuit that there could be a plot afoot to harm her client, claiming she had reasons to believe that a recent meal he received was tampered with.

“He is in danger in custody as yesterday (Monday) a report was made that his porridge was found to contain pieces of glass blended in,” said Meyler-Barrett, who also argued that the case against her client is based only on circumstantial evidence as there is no eyewitness to say that Patterson killed Townsend.

“I supplied the prosecution with a medical certificate for Mr Patterson because, since being in custody, he has had to have several medical examinations. The medical certificate indicates that he is a haemophiliac, plus he suffers from gallstones and the doctor says he will need surgery,” she further added.

After an hour of argument between Patterson’s lawyer and the prosecution over his bail application, the judge sided with the prosecution.

In opposing bail, lead prosecutor Paula-Sue Ferguson pointed to correspondence that Patterson had reportedly made to Rohan Rose, who is separately charged with misprision of a felony in relation to the death of 35-year-old Townsend, reportedly saying that he had killed her.

Townsend’s body was found floating in the sea off the coast of Reading, St James, on October 21, 2022, a day after reportedly travelling from Kingston to meet up with Patterson. A subsequent post-mortem examination on November 5 determined that she was strangled.

“On October 21, Rose met with the accused (Patterson) and asked, ‘Wah gwaan?’ and the accused said, ‘Bwoy, you know seh me kill di gyal,’ and said that the girl (Townsend) had dissed him and told him to go [obscene language redacted] ... and that him nuh tek dem things lightly,’” Ferguson outlined.

She further noted that on November 2, Patterson gave a witness statement to the police, indicating that after leaving Townsend in Hopewell, he went home.

She added that on November 8, after a question and answer session in the presence of two attorneys, Patterson said spontaneously, “Rose come look fi me. Him see Slickianna and him say him like Slickianna, and him tell her him have money and link her up”.

The prosecutor noted that Patterson signed and dated that account, which was different from the previous account given, arguing that the discrepancy meant he was not trustworthy.

The prosecution also noted that Patterson is currently before the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for an unrelated case of assault against another female and that there were concerns about him being a flight risk and potentially interfering with the witnesses.

Justice Thomas declared that Patterson’s statements, as recorded in the prosecution’s allegations, did not deny that Townsend had been in his presence prior to her death.

“The allegations of the Crown are serious enough and sufficient for me to form the opinion that, if granted bail, the accused man will not return,” she added.

Patterson is to return to court for mention on September 21, at which time outstanding documents are to be added to the prosecution’s case file.