High Court Judge Victoria Charles-Clarke has given 28-year-old Miguel Samuel, formerly of Seneku in the Kalinago Territory, a three- year suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to the offence of grievous bodily harm with intent.
She also ordered that he do counseling for “anger management.”
Wayne Norde, counsel for Samuel who appeared for him (amicus) free, in mitigation told the court that Samuel was labeled as “an outsider” and a “neg” by some people in the Territory and did not mean to harm him but was “provoked.”
Samuel, he said, “was remorseful for his actions and pleaded guilty and not wasted the courts time.”
Furthermore, he told the court that Samuel had moved out from the Territory and was living in Kingshill and seeking gainful employment.
Norde asked the court not to impose a custodial sentence on Samuel.
“Every dog deserves a second bite, he has a bright future in a different community, we ask that you temper justice with mercy and give him a second chance in life and not to impose a custodial sentence on him,” he said.
Justice Charles-Clarke said that while such an offence deserves a custodial sentence, the fact that he (Samuel) was provoked, was remorseful, had moved out of the community and the complainant had fully recovered, she will not send him to jail.
The maximum sentence is 10 years and she used six years as her starting point, plus the 1/3 reduction bringing it down to four years. She further removed one year for the delay at trial and imposed a 3 year jail sentence suspended.
“If you do anything you within three years you will be brought back here and will be sent to jail for three years,” she told him.
The facts of the case
On Saturday November 9, 2013 about 11:00 am, Miguel Samuel left his home to fetch water in the Sineku public stand pipe located about 200 yards away. On reaching, he filled one of the two pails he had with water and then went to a concrete wall about 20 feet away crushing something in his pail.
Bethan Valmond who was in ‘Babree’s Shop’ on the opposite side of the road having a few drinks with friends, left and went to Samuel saying, “you not bathing in the pipe today.”
An argument ensued between them and Valmond closed the tap and kicked the other pail in the drain. He was asked to “behave” but refused insisting that Miguel not take water in the pipe to wash or bathe.
On seeing what was happening Cornelius Defoe, one of Valmond’s friends who was in the shop, came and tried to convince him to leave Samuel alone but that proved futile.
Samuel became angry and left the area and in the process made a report to the Salybia Police Station and was given specific instructions by the police.
He returned to the area about 15 minutes later, dressed and armed with a cutlass. He went to the pipe to fill his pail and was again approached by Valmond who told him that he would not allow him to bathe in the pipe.
Valmond was warned repeatedly by Samuel and after several warnings he struck him several times on his left foot severely injuring him.
Valmond in the process used some threatening language to Samuel who lifted the cutlass and said “say it again…see I not splitting your head.”
He was assisted by persons in the area, taken to the Castle Bruce health Center where he was treated and referred to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) where he underwent immediate surgery and remained a patient at the Alford Ward for six weeks.