Psychiatrist to tell court why woman rescued from cave should not testify

Inspector Josric Mifsud said that his understanding was that its not that she could not testify, but that it would not be ideal for her to do so at this point due to her fragile mental state

Mystery continues to surround the case of the woman rescued from death in a cave where she had been imprisoned by her husband and her apparent reluctance to testify against him.

46-year-old Natalie Williams was discovered unconscious and near death in a cavern deep underground in Rinella, Kalkara last November.

Her husband Roddy Williams is accused of her attempted murder, sexually  abusing her and holding her against her will. He is also accused of heroin possession and of slightly injuring his wife and a police officer.

But Williams has repeatedly failed to turn up to testify in this case where she is the star witness. Inspector Josric Mifsud said that his understanding of the situation was that its not that Nathalie Williams could not testify, but that it would not be ideal for her to do so at this point due to her fragile mental state.

This was confirmed by lawyer Ludwig Caruana, who is appearing parte civile for the woman.

Lawyers Marion Camilleri and Yanika Vidal appeared as defence counsel to the accused today, as a Police Sergeant from Cospicua testified to the callout which led to the woman being discovered and rescued.

Arriving on the scene, she said, “there was a big hullaballoo.” “We found a young Maltese man holding a dark skinned man on the ground. The suspect later turned out to be (Roddy) Williams and the young man his partner’s son. He had some facial injuries and was tied up.

The RIU handcuffed him and took him away for questioning. He was agitated and insulted threatened the officers, saying ‘I will kill you’ and swearing at them.”

Williams’ son was spoken to. He had been walking his dog when he noticed Roddy walking eating grapes and had asked him where his mother was, said the sergeant.

The accused had tried to run away when the boy asked him this and so the boy had tackled him to the ground and used a rope to tie his legs together until the police arrived.

Officers had asked the man if Nathalie was alive. “Of course she’s alive, she’s my wife,” he replied, offering to show police where she was.

He was driven to Fort Ricasoli. Officers called out to Nathalie but heard no reply. Roddy then led the officers to a cave, down some stairs. “It was around 8:30pm. It was dark,” said the Sergeant. He showed officers the place where the woman was and called out to her but she didn’t answer.

She was found in a small cavern, unconscious due to the lack of breathable air, but still had a pulse. Williams was swiftly extracted to a place accessible to ambulance crews.

A nurse had told police there were no visible signs of domestic violence, said the witness. “I asked about visible signs because of the domestic violence report and the fact that we had found her unconscious, I had also wanted to ensure she was ok.”

But the woman is apparently attempting to avoid having to testify, initially presenting a medical certificate issued by GP Steven Spiteri who was, in a separate case, recorded issuing medical certificates to people who called in their symptoms over the phone. The court had refused to accept this certificate.

The woman had then gone to psychiatrist David Cassar who in the briefest of reports, said that the woman was unfit to testify. The magistrate has summoned Cassar to flesh out his reasoning in the next sitting, which will be held on Thursday.

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