Western News

Scorpion stings man in court

Retired clerk contemplates legal action

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter

Thursday, November 07, 2013    

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — RETIRED Clerk of the Court Tyrone Hilton is contemplating legal action against the Government, claiming he was stung by a scorpion inside the Falmouth Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday, while he was awaiting trial for a minor traffic offence.

The RM Court is housed in the historic Trelawny Parish Council building, near the town centre.

According to Hilton, who is facing a charge of obstructing traffic — an offence for which he has since pleaded not guilty -- he was alerted by an agonising pain in one of his fingers on his right hand, as he sat patiently on a board bench in the courthouse waiting on his case to be mentioned.

At first, the retired clerk of court told the Jamaica Observer West, he thought the pain was caused by a nail on the arm of the hard bench where he was sitting.

"While I was sitting there and explaining to a man about my case before the courts, he commanded me to stay still while he boxed it (scorpion) off my body, stomped it and killed it," Hilton explained.

Yesterday, another motorist, who gave his name as Omar Brown, who was also in court on Monday, corroborated Hilton's account of the incident.

"A lot of people saw what happened. A whole heap of people were there," Brown told the Observer West.

Hilton said he later reported the incident to the clerk of court and the sitting RM, who allowed him to seek medical attention at the Falmouth General Hospital.

There, he said, he was attended to by two doctors.

His matter before the court was subsequently rescheduled for December 12.

Yesterday, an employee at the Trelawny Courts Office in Duncans told the Observer West that "I am aware of the matter but no formal report has been made".

She pointed out, however, that she was not authorised to speak to the media about the incident.

Ironically, Hilton was stung by the arthropod inside the same courtroom where he started his career as a clerk of court in the early 1960s. After being transferred to other courthouses in western Jamaica, the Trelawny native returned to his parish where he retired after serving four decades in the courts.

"I started to work there as an assistant clerk of the court until I was transferred to five or six parishes, then returned to the parish. During this time I have never been bitten by one (scorpion), but now something needs to be done. They need to take care of the scorpions," bemoaned Hilton.

He is convinced that other scorpions have made their home in a wooden storeroom in the courthouse, located in close proximity to where the judges sit.

"I am sure there are some scorpions near where the judge sits. Because I know there are files there since 1930 and I have seen then (scorpions) there while I was working in the justice system. I am sure of that," he stressed.

"It's rain season now so they (courthouse administrators) need to call in the pest control to deal with the scorpions."

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