Abusive husband ill-treats owner of women’s shelter

POSTED: 10/4/11 12:29 PM
Theophilus Priest: “I want this man removed from the island.”

St. Maarten– Theophilus Priest, who took part in the 2007 Island Council elections with his one-man National Democratic Party, was ill-treated in the night from Sunday to Monday by a man who wanted to visit his wife who stays in a shelter for abused women, which is situated in a building on Priest’s property.

Priest sustained injuries to his nose, the back of his head, and to his knees, elbows and hands. He filed a complaint yesterday morning shortly before nine o’clock.

Priest says that he started opening one of the buildings on his property as a shelter for abused women in 1996 at the insistence of his mother. During the past fifteen years, around 300 women passed through the shelter.

In his complaint, Priest says that around four years ago a woman he identified as Y. came to his shelter whenever she had trouble with her husband. A year later the problems escalated and the woman became a permanent resident at the shelter together with her young son.

According to Priest, the on-off relationship between the woman and her abusive husband continued, as did the abuse. He says that he did not interfere; though he was prepared to offer her safety, he did not feel that he was in a position to take decisions for her.

On Sunday night, Priest went out for a walk around his property and noticed a black car near his gate. The driver turned out to be Y.’s husband. Priest denied him entry, but the man pushed him aside and went to the room where the woman was staying. Priest followed him and told him he was going to call the police.

“He told me that he has many friends in the police force and offered me his cell phone to make the call,” Priest told the detective who took his complaint. When he knocked on the door of another room to ask the woman staying there for her cell phone, the man unexpectedly punched the 56-year-old Priest – a former Marechaussee – on his jaw, causing him to fall down.

While Priest was lying on the ground, the man, identified later by his first name Julio Andres, kept hitting him between fifteen and twenty times. “At the same time he told me in Spanish that he was going to kill me,” Priest stated.

Other women staying at the shelter managed to break up the fight, and the attacker eventually left. The police arrived shortly afterwards and went with Priest to the man’s house, but he denied the ill-treatment.

Priest said that the attacker is from the Dominican Republic and that he resides on the island with a Brooks Tower Accord permit. “I want him removed from the island,” the victim told this newspaper.

Did you like this? Share it:
Abusive husband ill-treats owner of women’s shelter by

Comments are closed.