Media Barred from Emma McManus’ Inquest

Caroner Graveney Bannister
Caroner Graveney Bannister

In December 2020 Emma McManus the former wife of John Paul McManus and the son of JP McManus died while holidaying at the plush Sandy Lane Estate at one of the villas. JP McManus is known to be one of the owners of the world class property.

Of interest to the blogmaster is the decision to stage inquest into the death of Emma McManus in camera. The high court had previously held that the case should be held in private and Caroner Magistrate Graveney Bannister upheld a request from McManus’ lawyers to remove the press from the room. Interesting the decision came at the point the toxicology report was about to be shared in the proceedings.

From all reports it seems the McManus legal team has a problem with Caroner Graveney Banister. The bane of contention with the goodly magistrate is a disputed phone call between John Paul McManus and Bannister after Emma McManus’ death, where it is alleged the partying group that included the late Emma McManus had been snorting cocaine. John Paul McManus latter clawed back from the alleged reported statement to Bannister. WHY THE HELL WOULD MAGISTRATE BANISTER MAKE UP SUCH A STATEMENT IS WHAT INQUIRING MINDS WOULD LIKE TO KNOW.

The saying that something smells rotten in Denmark seems very appropriate to anyone following the coroner’s inquiry into Emma McManus’ death. 

The blogmaster is all about transparency and justice. That a rich foreigner would accuse an officer of the local court of telling a lie is big news. This blogmaster has been patient since the news broke in December 2020 waiting for an outcome, however, it seems this is one of those matters that will be moved on the roster until the matter fades from public interest. What the blogmaster would do to secure a copy of the toxicology report. If the report identified cocaine or some narcotic traces in the body of Emma McManus at the time of her death it would support the contentious statement that illegal drugs were being consumed AND that alleged conversation took place?

One can speculate if the inquest involved a member of the blue collar community the decision to switch to in camera to shield proceedings from the public would be a moot consideration. The blogmaster is aware there is keen interest from the outside world in the matter and how it eventually turns out has implications for how onlookers will view the delivery of justice in Barbados. Hopefully this is not a case of a small country being bullied by the money class.

The other inquiry ongoing into the death of Stewart Mottley, brother of Prime Minister Mottley in June 2021 is also of interest. The fact the matter is being prosecuted by the Elliot Mottley, father of the deceased is also interesting. The blogmaster will reserve comment on the matter for now and take the opportunity to extend condolences to Prime Minister Mottley and family.


The following report extracted from the Irish publication The PHOENIXDavid, Blogmaster


McManus Arriving at Inquest


THE DEATH on December 30 of 40 year old Emma McManus, daughter-in-law of zillionaire JP McManus, in the exclusive Caribbean Sandy Lane resort, reverberated around the super rich circles in Barbados as well as back home in Ireland.

Confusion was the order of the day and the memorial service initially planned take place at the start of January was deferred until the following week. Now the inquest is putting the tragedy back under the spotlight, featuring disputed references to alleged cocaine use.

Emma was married John Paul McManus, son of the Geneva based tax exile JP, who found himself giving evidence at inquest in Barbados yesterday – an experience that proved predictably intrusive. As reported in the local Daily Nation newspaper, John McManus had to deny that he told the office of coroner Graveney Bannister in a telephone call, allegedly made shortly after the death of Emma, that they had been doing “a little cocaine”.

Emma McManus

McManus confirmed there had been a party at their Sandy Lane property but denied he had told the official at the coroner’s office that any cocaine had been taken, also rebutting a claim that he had a convenient memory. When asked if he was claiming that Bannister was “making it all up”, McManus suggested the coroner had misheard him and also said he “would happily take a test for it”.

The inquest also heard that there was a dispute about calls allegedly made asking how quickly Emma McManus’s body could be released for burial, with John McManus denying he had repeatedly telephoned the coroner: “We were in a state of grieving and people were eager for answers, so it wasn’t me that did anything”.

His statement to the police, which was read into evidence by Sergeant Robert Jones, said the Emma McManus had left Sandy Lane’s Monkey Bar around 11.30pm on December 29 to return to the house, while her husband was taken home around 4am and put on the couch to sleep.

In the morning, he found his wife dead in the bed and she was rushed to Sandy Crest hospital. McManus’s statement concluded, “She was not smoking anything and I don’t know if she was taking any narcotics.”

The inquest has been adjourned until next month, when the toxicology report is to be read to the court.