Lawyer says accused schoolboy has no history of aggression
Attorney-at-law Hopeton Marshall speaking with the Jamaica Observer on Monday at the Black River courthouse. Marshall is representing the 15-year-old boy accused of last Thursday's beating and assault of a younger student at BB Coke High School in Junction, St Elizabeth. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — A St Elizabeth attorney representing the 15-year-old boy accused of last Thursday's beating and assault of a younger student at BB Coke High School in Junction says his client does not have a history of aggression.

Hopeton Marshall, who was successful in applying for bail for the teen in court on Monday, said his client and relatives are remorseful following the incident.

"They are so sympathetic, and I expressed that to the court. It is a very unfortunate situation and they sympathise with the complainant and his family, so that is just something that I wish to put out there… He doesn't have a history of aggression to this extent," Marshall said outside the Black River courthouse.

When asked if he was being dismissive of reports from a school official that the child's behaviour had caused concern for an extended period, Marshall said, "I do not know what is in the school's records so I will not counter anything that I have not seen, but I can only say what I have said thus far… He was in court today in the same pair of shoes that he was in, the same pair of shoes that he had on that day, and the pair of shoes is not a pair of Clarks," said Marshall.

The Jamaica Observer was told that shortly after the dismissal of classes on Thursday, 14-year-old Jaheim Colman and the accused were among students collecting their phones when the older boy assaulted Colman for stepping on his shoes.

On Friday, chairman of the school board Cetany Holness said the accused is a known "troublemaker".

"He is a student who we have under the radar at the institution. He is a little trouble in the school. He appeared before the personnel committee on numerous occasions," said Holness.

The teen has been charged with assault occasioning grievous bodily harm in relation to last Thursday's incident.

Close to a dozen relatives of the accused boy turned up at the Santa Cruz courthouse on Monday, but had to travel to Black River after the case was moved there.

Marshall said the schoolboy was offered bail in the sum of $300,000 when he appeared before Presiding Judge Dionne Lawrence-Pivott.

"That bail application was successful. At the moment we are expecting his parent to take up the bail that was granted to him," said Marshall.

The attorney explained that the schoolboy is expected to return to court on Wednesday.

"Hopefully, by then all documents that are required will be brought in and he will be on bail," he said.

A stop order has been placed on the schoolboy at all ports.

Kasey Williams

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