Fuss over flatulence ends up in court

MONTEGO BAY, St James - A concern over flatulence in the lunchroom of the St James Municipal Corporation Building left an employee with a broken nose and a municipal officer charged with assault.

The case was brought up in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday.

Zephaniah Allen appeared before presiding judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley on a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm.

According to court records, about 2:30 pm on October 24 the complainant was having lunch when Allen passed gas.

The complainant stated that as a result of this, he had to throw away his lunch, leave the lunchroom, and inform his co-workers about what Allen had done.

This did not sit well with Allen, who allegedly used a helmet to hit the complainant several times in the head and face, causing his nose to bleed and swell instantly. The complainant's lips and face were also swollen.

After the allegations were outlined, Smith-Ashley asked the parties if they wanted to go to mediation, but the complainant was not inclined to use that forum.

"My nose is broken, he hit me in my head and also hit me in the face with his helmet, and he has shown no remorse... It's hard for me to stand here and say I'll go to mediation," said the disgruntled complainant.

The judge then informed the parties that she would be sending both of them to speak with a mediator who was present in court.

When the case was revisited, the court was told that the two had reached an agreement. As a result, the prosecution offered no further evidence against Allen.

However, before leaving the courtroom, the complainant stated that it was a painful situation and that the only reason he had forgiven Allen was for his young daughter's sake.

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