Policeman awaits trial verdict
A magistrate yesterday heard closing arguments in the case of a police officer charged with threatening behaviour.
Robert Butterfield is accused of threatening Collingwood Robinson, the father of the policeman's stepson, outside a school in January last year.
Prosecutors alleged in Magistrates' Court that Mr Butterfield told Mr Robinson: “I will f**k you up. You don't know me. If it wasn't for my job, I would have f****d you up.”
Mr Butterfield also allegedly pointed his finger at Mr Robinson and in the process touched his face.
Mr Butterfield, who recorded some of the confrontation on his phone, said Mr Robinson had been harassing him for years and called him a child abuser on the day of the incident.
Crown prosecutor Javone Rogers said, in addition to Mr Robinson's testimony, the Crown's case was backed by evidence from a female eyewitness in the school car park.
Mr Rogers added: “It's clear from the evidence of both the Crown witnesses, and Mr Butterfield himself, that those words were used for a specific purpose.
“Mr Butterfield stated quite frankly that enough was enough and he wished on his evidence for Mr Robinson to stop pestering him.
“He wished to do so in the strongest terms possible. The words themselves are clear in what is intended to be perceived.”
Mr Rogers also disputed the suggestion that Mr Butterfield had been provoked.
He said: “Mr Butterfield gave evidence that he never lost control, which would mean that provocation does not apply.”
Mr Butterfield earlier denied the Crown version of events.
He said he had told Mr Robinson: “The only reason I don't do nothing to you is because of where I work, because I would beat the hell out of you.”
Marc Daniels, Mr Butterfield's defence counsel, told the court that Mr Robinson had attempted to manipulate the court due to a longstanding grudge against Mr Butterfield.
Mr Daniels also suggested that the witness may not have an accurate recollection of the confrontation.
He pointed out that she did not make a written statement until a month after the incident and admitted that she was not standing where she at first said she was.
Mr Daniels said that Mr Robinson had approached Mr Butterfield on the afternoon of the confrontation and called him a child abuser in front of his children.
He added both Crown witnesses said Mr Butterfield had sworn at Mr Robinson, but Mr Butterfield's recording of the incident did not show him using that type of language.
Mr Daniels said: “The question is what words and actions were said and done.
“You can believe the Crown and disregard the tape, or you believe the tape and you disregard the Crown witnesses.”
Mr Daniels added the words recorded on the tape did not amount to a threat and the actions described by Mr Robinson were mild in light of the level of provocation.
He said: “Even if we take it at its highest and come to the conclusion that a finger was pointed and touched a cheek, it's the most minimal contact,”
Magistrate Tyrone Chin adjourned the case until January 16, when he is expected to deliver his verdict.
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