A father was prepared to sacrifice his freedom today to keep his son out of jail.
But in the end, Renair Andre Ifill, charged jointly with his son in connection with an incident in March, could only watch as Chequan Rashad Austin was taken away to spend 28 days on remand at HMP Dodds.
Ifill, 43, of Grenville Way, Cave Hill, St Michael and his 22-year-old son, a resident of Well Gap, Cave Hill, St Michael are both charged that, along with other persons, they used unlawful violence on March 28 and their conduct was such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety. They were not required to plead to the indictable charge.
Austin is separately charged with committing another indictable offence on the same date – unlawfully and maliciously wounding Errol Forde. It is also alleged that he stole a handbag worth $35, a cellular phone worth $1050, two lipsticks worth $75 and $150 in cash belonging to Veronique Bouzan on March 9, but he denied that charge.
Station Sergeant Neville Reid objected to bail for the father and son duo on the grounds that a firearm was used during the incident, and that other persons were being sought in connection with that matter.
“The incident occurred in public and members of the public were exposed to danger, scampering to safety,” the prosecutor said.
“This is as a result of an ongoing feud between persons in that area. It is believed if the accused is granted bail, this will result in further acts of violence,” Reid said, adding that there was a need to protect the accused and protect society from the accused.
However, Ifill told Magistrate Douglas Frederick he had nothing to do with the incident.
“Sir, I was home . . . lying down . . . and I got a phone call
. . . . I was told that my son chop up and bleeding to death. I had nothing to do with this. I was assisting the police. I don’t give trouble or nothing so. I just went and see what was happening, Sir,” said the father, who admitted that he got himself in trouble with the law, “for herb”, back in the 90s.
“I was not involved. I work. I have nuff things looking forward to; I don’t want to go to jail,” he added.
His son, meanwhile, told Frederick: “The scene happened when I come out of hospital. I get chop up by Errol Forde.”
The magistrate asked whether it was the same man he was accused of wounding, to which Austin replied: “Yes Sir, he chop me up.”
“Sir, I think I can be granted bail and go home because I am no threat,” Austin added.
The magistrate then pointed out that the situation was too volatile at the moment.
“So who goes home?” Frederick asked.
It was at that point that Ifill asked his son, “do you want to go home?”
Austin told his father that the decision was his to make. But the magistrate then took the choice out of Ifill’s hands, saying that Austin appeared to be at the heart of the situation and he therefore needed a cooling off period.
He remanded the young man to prison to HMP Dodds until June 28.
“You should have never been charged with him. You should have been the peacemaker,” Frederick then told the father.
Ifill, meanwhile, was granted $5,000 bail which he secured with one surety.
He returns to court on the same date as his son.