Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part II

Summary of Incidents on 18th November, 1973

Paragraph 43. - The Conduct of Inspector Innocent Belmar

43. We return now to consideration of Mr. Belmar's conduct on the night of the 18th of November.

There was no evidence to suggest that he was in nay way personally involved in the matter of the injuries which were received by Bishop, Whiteman and Strachan.

They did not give evidence and the Commissioners are not able to say how they received their injuries. Belmar must have known that they were injured for he spoke with them when they were in the cell. He must have been aware that they were in urgent need of medical attention. When asked by his counsel, Mr. Guerra, if any medical practitioner came to the station that night to see any of the prisoners he answered in the negative and when he related the visit by the Rev. Coxhead and the other priest he made no reference whatever to Dr. Gibbs, but later in his evidence when he was being questioned by Mr. Noel he admitted that Dr. Gibbs came to the station with the two priests but he was afraid to open the cell because of the attitude of 150 police aides who were there.

We accepted the evidence of the late Rupert Bishop and of Mrs. Eileen Radix that they took Dr. Charles to the station and that Dr. Charles asked to be allowed to see "the boys" - "whom he understood were injured" and that Belmar replied saying he had orders that nobody was to see them "not even a doctor or a priest."

We accepted the evidence of Simon Daniel that Kenrick Radix did inform Belmar on at least three occasions during the night that the men in the cell needed medical attention and Belmar replied with threats. Belmar in his evidence said that he was unaware that any of the prisoners were injured but we believe that this was not the truth. On the evidence of the various witnesses who gave evidence to us as to his behaviour and general conduct that afternoon and night we have come to the conclusion that his acts were those of a megalomaniac.

On his own evidence he showed quite clearly that he was unable to exercise any discipline or control over the police or the aides. Fr. Coxhead, a completely unbiased witness with no political affiliations, described the police aides as "the bosses of the situation." He further said "there was no order and the situation was one of sheer terror."

It was Belmar who had unleashed this Frankenstein on the town of Grenville and he was unable to control it. In our view Mr. Belmar proved himself to be totally unfitted for any position of authority.

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