A dispute over an empty juice box resulted in a daughter hauling her father to the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday.
Wayne Smith pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and cited his daughter’s misbehaviour for the reason he had punched her in the face.
Stating that in addition to his 21-year-old daughter being disrespectful, Smith says he rarely returns home to a clean house, despite leaving the house in the opposite state before going to work. It was this frustration, Smith said, that caused him to lash out when he saw the empty juice box placed on a plate in the kitchen sink.
“I got two summons for her already and is because she is my daughter I never did anything. She disrespect me… Is my house [and] I don’t want her there anymore. The sink is full of garbage and dirty plates.” Smith said.
However, his daughter told the court a different story. She said her father has been displaying violent behaviour since her mother took him to the family court.
“My mother and him were in some altercation, which she brought him to the family court. That’s the whole reason he chooses to throw things at us [she and her sisters]. He attempted to pull his knife at me. We had an altercation in which he used a gas cylinder hit my leg with. It’s been going on for a year and four months,” she said, while confirming that her parents no longer share the same room.
She said her mother now sleeps in the room her sisters share.
After hearing the statements made by both parties, Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague thought it prudent to refer the entire family for counselling.
“What household this must be. It’s one house but it’s a different household essentially. That must be uncomfortable for everybody and that is why even a box juice box going to be offensive. Dirty house will make anybody triggered you know, so if it is that some occupants are keeping the house not so clean, it going to trigger anybody and coupled with the fact that you not having a very good relationship,” the judge said.
“I think there needs to be some dialogue with this family. I’m going to refer the matter for counselling because you pleaded guilty but I’m not going to sentence you now,” she continued.
Smith agreed to pay his daughter $30,000 in restitution and half of that was paid in court on Tuesday. They are to return to court on July 18 to facilitate the rest of the payment and sentencing. Smith’s bail was extended.