Expressions of strong emotions were conveyed by Rohan Lewis and his former lover within the confines of the St James Parish Court last Wednesday as they presented their respective accounts of what transpired when Lewis damaged the woman's car and assaulted her.
Lewis appeared before presiding Parish Judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, unlawful wounding, and malicious destruction of property.
According to the allegations, on April 23 the complainant, who has a child with Lewis, was sitting in her black Toyota Voxy motor car in her yard when Lewis used a piece of board to damage the driver's window. She sustained a wound on the right side of her face after being struck by splinters from the shattered glass.
"Mr Lewis, did you do it?" Judge Smith-Ashley asked the accused man.
"Yes, Your Honour," Lewis replied.
According to Lewis, he was inside the house when the complainant arrived and parked her car, blocking his car. He stated that despite his persistent requests for her to move her car, she refused.
When the judge asked the complainant whether she would be inclined to participate in counselling, she firmly declined, stating that she had no interest in it as they were no longer together and had sought counselling previously.
"This man is very abusive, I don't want any counselling, let him pay me for my glass and leave me alone," the irate complainant said.
"What about for the sake of the child?" the judge then asked.
"He always see him on the road and give him his lunch money, that's all," the complainant told the judge.
The complainant explained that she had spent the night with her mother and returned home the next morning to find Lewis's vehicle parked in the yard, therefore she remained inside her vehicle. According to her, Lewis insisted that she move her car, and she told him that she didn't have to because he didn't live there. He then threatened to "mash up" her car if she didn't move it, she claimed, before smashing the glass with the piece of wood, which hit her in the face.
The case was temporarily adjourned so that the pair could participate in mediation with a probation officer who was present in court.
When the case was revisited, the court heard that the complainant requested $90,000 in compensation, which Lewis refused to pay.
When the judge asked the complainant how she arrived at $90,000, she explained that the cost of the glass was $17,000, while a week's earnings amounted to $52,000, and the cost of eye drops was $5,000, resulting in a total of $74,000.
When the judge pointed out the total and again asked how she arrived at $90,000, the complainant started mumbling, but it was inaudible.
Lewis refused to pay the $74,000, arguing that she does not earn $52,000 per week. The judge enquired what his counter offer was, and he said $30,000, which the complainant declined.
Following negotiations, the judge asked the accused man if he was willing to pay $50,000. He agreed and handed over the money to the complainant. After that, the prosecution offered no evidence against Lewis.
Before allowing him to leave the courtroom, the judge advised Lewis that resorting to violence is not a viable solution and that he must display better conduct as a role model for his son.
Judge orders restorative justice for man, woman in domestic brawl
The St James Parish Court on Wednesday issued restorative justice orders in two cases involving a St James man and woman who are facing assault charges.
Oral Salmon is charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and unlawful wounding committed against Lucreisha Palmer, while Palmer faces a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm committed against Salmon's spouse.
The allegations against Salmon are that on January 15 about 10:30 am, Palmer was at her home with her son when Salmon entered the premises and began arguing with her about rent issues. During the altercation, he hit her in the face and elbow with a plastic pipe, causing a wound.
Then, on April 25 about 4:00 pm, Palmer was at Montego Hills Police Station, filing a report against Salmon's spouse. Palmer, the court heard, was acting in a loud and aggressive manner threatening to kill Salmon's spouse.
Salmon's spouse then arrived at the station, gave her own report, and Palmer attacked her, causing pain and swelling to her left hand and index finger.
Following the reading of the allegations, Salmon's lawyer, Tamika Spencer-Anderson, stated that, while the cases are independent, they are interconnected and asked that alternative dispute resolution be explored.
Presiding Parish Judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley agreed with the attorney's suggestion and ordered that all parties attend restorative justice.
Meanwhile, Palmer's bond was reduced to $50,000 after she was unable to take up her initial bail offer of $150,000.
She was remanded in police custody, while Salmon's bail was extended until July 20, when the case is scheduled to be heard again.
Machete wielder to undergo psychiatric evaluation
A man accused of chopping his brother with a machete is to undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being sentenced.
Tajae Flowers pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding before presiding Judge Sasha-Marie Smith-Ashley in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday.
It is alleged that on May 3, in Lilliput, St James, Flowers used a machete to chop his brother on his right and left index fingers, causing wounds.
During Wednesday's sitting, the clerk of the court indicated to the court that there were concerns regarding the accused man's mental faculties.
The complainant, who was present in court, enlightened the court about his brother's worrisome behaviour and how he had done numerous things that were never brought to the attention of the police.
"I believe something is wrong with him and I'm asking the court to intervene and see what you can do to help," the complainant said.
When Smith-Ashley asked Flowers why he committed the act, he explained that he and his brother frequently have conflicts and the complainant often reports him to the authorities. He also voiced frustration about never receiving justice whenever he makes reports against the complainant.
"He told me that the next time when we get in a fight, he is going to break my hands, so I made sure I defended myself," Flowers added.
Smith-Ashley then ordered a social enquiry report as well as a psychiatric evaluation, and remanded Flowers until July 13.