Honour your father and your mother!
That stern warning was given today by Magistrate Douglas Frederick to Jamal Omar Freeman, who now has to look to compensate his stepfather who he assaulted almost three years ago.
Freeman, 28, of Forde’s Road, Clapham, St Michael, was found guilty by the magistrate of unlawfully assaulting Ronald Harewood on October 6, 2015.
In a strange occurrence, Freeman chose not to cross-examine any of the witnesses called by the prosecution and remained silent throughout the duration of his trial, which ended today in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court.
Harewood, who was present to hear the verdict, told the magistrate he had raised Freeman from a little boy and would prefer to be compensated rather than to see the accused jailed.
He told the magistrate he would be willing to accept $4, 000.
However, Freeman, who told the court he worked “on and off” on a truck, said he would “need six or seven months” to come up with that amount.
In the end, the magistrate reduced the amount to $2, 500, but gave him half the time – three months – in which to pay it. If he fails to pay the fine he will have to spend six months in prison.
Today the magistrate also had some words of advice for Freeman.
“This should never have come to this because this man helped you. You should always honour your mother and your father. In this case even though he is not your biological father he would have helped you and this is not a kind way for you to repay him.”
Sergeant Rudy Pilgrim was the prosecutor in the case.
The court had heard that the complainant was married to Freeman’s mother and they lived together.
On the day in question, the accused who was upset with his stepfather, accused him of being a bully.
The complainant ignored him and went into his home, but was followed by the accused.
As Harewood entered his bedroom, the accused slapped him in the back of his head and cuffed him. The complainant tried to walk away, but was again followed by the accused, who took up a small vodka bottle and threw it at him but missed.
While he was walking away, the accused walked up to him and cuffed him in his right eye. He fell to the ground and Freeman got on top of him and continually cuffed him in the back of the head until two persons came to his aid.
The complainant suffered injuries to his right eye and also had a fractured nose.