Even though Sherwin Orlando Straker will very likely have to pay compensation to a man he cuffed in his face, the Maynard’s Land, Bush Hall, St. Michael resident will also receive help in managing his anger.
The bus conductor, 32, admitted today that he unlawfully and maliciously wounded Nicholas Shepherd yesterday in the River Bus Terminal by cuffing him in the face. Straker went before Magistrate Douglas Frederick in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court.
Prosecuting, Sergeant Martin Rock said the two men were involved in a heated exchange when Straker cuffed Shepherd, injuring his nose.
The complainant visited the Winston Scott Polyclinic where he was assessed as having a laceration to the right nostril and a fracture to the nasal bone.
Straker today apologized to the court and to Shepherd for his actions. “I am sorry for my actions towards you; I lost my cool,” he said. He also offered to pay compensation but that will be determined after all medical expenses are settled.
Magistrate Frederick called forward the complainant, whose nose and upper lip were swollen and his nose bandaged. Shepherd’s cousin accompanied him into the witness stand and spoke on his behalf, after explaining that Shepherd was “somewhat slow and has mental challenges”.
She stressed that Shepherd seemed to love the van stand and as much as his family advised against going there, he continued to frequent the area. “And exactly how they behave in the van stand, he does the same thing,” she said.
The complainant’s cousin added that Shepherd’s mother was also “slow” and her mother therefore formally adopted him as a young child. The family made every effort to keep Shepherd in check, but to no avail, she said. He is so adamant about going to the van stand every day that even if you try to restrain him, she told the court, he escapes from home by jumping through a window.
The cousin also said Shepherd previously attended the Charles F. Broome Special Unit and the Children’s Development Centre. “He has a lot of mouth but he doesn’t fight back,” she explained.
Straker responded by saying that Shepherd is always interfering with him and made rude remarks to him, including telling him about his mother.
“He knows your mother?” the magistrate queried.
“No,” Straker replied, adding that he had already told Shepherd on numerous occasions to leave him alone. He had also asked the police to warn him.
“You took advantage of this boy. If it was a big fellow like the prosecutor there, you wouldn’t do that. You took advantage of him when you should have been protecting him. That is like stealing from a blind man,” Frederick remarked. “He is slow. He has a disability.
“Have you ever been in trouble before?” the magistrate asked Straker.
“Yes Sir; for assault.”
“On who now?”
“My child mother,” the convicted man said.
Magistrate Frederick then made reference to ‘Randolph’ who used to be in the bus terminal years ago “walking around with a piece of paper and a pen writing up the buses and saying he is a checker.”
“Everybody knew that Randolph wasn’t operating with all of his marbles and people used to look out for him,” Frederick added.
Turning to Shepherd, the magistrate asked: “But why you won’t keep out of the van stand? You want to work on the vans?”
Shepherd nodded yes.
Advising Straker to get help for his anger problem, the magistrate directed him to speak to a probation officer who was present. He was granted $3,000 bail and his case adjourned until April 15.