Five more female students of the Lester Vaughan Secondary School went before the law court today charged with the May 17 beating of a schoolmate, bringing to nine the number of children facing charges in that incident.
They appeared before Magistrate Ian Weekes in the District ‘D’ Magistrates’ Court this morning. Three of minors were unrepresented while the other two were represented by attorneys-at-law Shadia Simpson and Sade Williams.
Four of the girls – two 15-year-olds and two 14-year-olds – pleaded not guilty to assaulting a 15-year-old girl, occasioning actual bodily harm.
They were each granted bail in the sum of $500 after prosecutor Sergeant Derwin Thompson lodged no objection to their release. They return to court on August 10.
However, the fifth accused, another 15-year-old girl, admitted to her role in the incident that was recorded and went viral on social media. She was remanded to the Government Industrial School until next Monday, June 12.
Last month, four other students were charged in connection with the case that sparked national outrage. The victim was seen being chased before she fell to the ground and was repeatedly kicked in the head by some of her peers. The attack allegedly followed an argument over a $15 bottle of hair spritz.
A 13-year-old girl denied that she had anything to do with the public beating, while a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy and 16-year-old Kaviah Berrie-Smith all pleaded guilty to the charge.
The minors are currently on $500 bail each while Berrie-Smith, who is being tried as an adult, is on $1,500 bail.
One of the 15-year-olds in that matter is also facing a separate charge of assaulting another girl one year her senior, occasioning her actual bodily harm. She has denied the charge.
All nine students have been placed on curfews. They must be indoors by 5 p.m. and cannot leave home until after 6 a.m.
Verla DePeiza, who is legal counsel for the 15-year-old victim, previously indicated that her client was seeking compensation for her injuries.