Murder Suspect Freed But Later Fined for Drug Possession
In the hours following the grisly murder of sixteen-year-old Chryslin Gladden on Saturday, Belize City police arrested and detained a person of interest whom they believed could have assisted in their investigation. Forty-three-year-old Phillip Cattouse was held in detention for almost three days, under suspicion that he was involved in the brutal stabbing of the teenager. The circumstances surrounding his apprehension however, are most unusual since he was simply an onlooker returning from making a purchase at a nearby service station. According to Cattouse, he alerted police that a bloody knife and a liquor bottle had been discovered in the area and that the items may have been related to the crime being investigated. He then went home and thought nothing of it until the officers came knocking at his door and placed him under arrest. Cattouse shares the terrifying experience of being wrongfully accused of murder.
Phillip Cattouse, Wrongfully Accused of Murder
“Basically, on Saturday morning I went to go buy coffee because I was moving and everything and my house was already shut off. I’m a heavy coffee drinker and I went to purchase a cup of coffee on the boulevard over there by the Shell Gas Station, Uno. So after I purchased my coffee and I was going back home down to Iguana Street I saw the ruction up at the cemetery and some police vehicles. So it was unusual at this time about seven o’clock, seh bout seven fi wah crowd ah people deh out deh, so I decide fi gaan fast. So when I gaan fast now, yes I sih there were about fifty people with some police officers and there was a young lady that was also by a grave and was slumped over with blood. And after that a police officer start to put up the yellow tape and tell everybody dehn haftu go, dehn haftu go. So I decided to take the street that the horse and carriage is on, so when I got around that area by myself I met three Spanish ladies and the three Spanish ladies were arguing… So I told my friend, “Da weh happen?” And ih seh, “Bwai we just wake up and we find wahn knife down ya and wahn flask of brandy pan di ground.” So I seh, “Well dehn just, wahn body is around di corner by the cemetery, ah sehe dehn ting ya could probably help unu, help di police with this investigation.” So ah seh, ah ask di lady if they would like for me to call the police officer and they said yes. So I went back to the cemetery and I called a corporal for assistance and I showed them what the two Spanish ladies had found and it was a knife full of blood and a flask bottle. And the police officer put the yellow tape and I went about my business. Little after that I went home to finish unpack and about nine o’clock the police they came to my house and they told me that they were going to arrest me for murder and I was very shook. I was nervous because I didn’t know what was going on and after that I was taken to the Raccoon Street Police Station from Saturday and I was released on Tuesday. I feel really, kinda a little down due to the fact that I was falsely accused of something I know that I didn’t do and being incarcerated for seventy-two hours you have to be strong mentally to deal with something like that.”
While Cattouse was subsequently released from custody, he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this afternoon where he was arraigned for possession of a controlled drug. It turns out that when Cattouse was initially detained police found one point five grams of suspected cannabis concealed inside his footwear. He pleaded guilty to the offence and, since he is a first-time offender, was imposed a non-custodial sentence, along with a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars to be paid by the end of October.