A St Michael man with a 16 year history of mental illness, was able to talk himself out of jail time when appeared before the No.1 District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court this morning on assault and drug possession charges.
Shawn Andre Cooke, of Deacons Road, St Michael, pleaded guilty to assaulting Matthew Vaughn and occasioning him actual bodily harm on the November 22, 2017. He also admitted to having cannabis in his possession on January 4, 2018.
In outlining the facts of the case, the prosecutor, Sergeant Cameron Gibbons, told the court that Cooke and the complainant were involved in an altercation during which the accused chased the complainant with a stick and proceeded to beat him with it, causing soft tissue damage.
However, Cooke, who receives welfare from the state, told the court that Vaughn constantly bullied him and that he was merely defending himself.
This raised some concern for Magistrate Douglas Frederick, who told the defendant that he was going to send him to jail for his own protection, as he feared that quarrels between him and Vaughn were far from over.
“You know that you are not going to be able to go home tonight because you are telling me that this man is bullying you and he brags after. So he is not going to feel as though he got any satisfaction and this thing would continue. So I am going to have speak with Mr Vaughn first,” Frederick said.
However, Cooke sought to assure the magistrate that the matter was now two months old and there has been no recurrence since. He also assured Frederick that he had no intention of going anywhere near the complainant.
“Sir, this thing done. This thing happen since November and I have nothing to say to him and he has nothing to do with me,” Cooke said.
It was at that point that the magistrate told Cooke that he made a good point and opted instead to place him on a six-month bond to keep the peace.
Frederick also convicted, reprimanded and discharged the defendant on the drug charge.