A 55-year-old Guyanese man is on the hunt for a new place to stay after a rent-a-room arrangement at a St Michael home went violently wrong last Thursday.
Darrel Griffith, of Waterloo Gardens, Barbarees Hill, St Michael, pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting Suleman Bakharia on August 23.
The two men have rented rooms at the aforementioned address for years, but Station Sergeant Samuel Hinds said the situation has been riddled with disputes over the amenities.
On the day in question, Griffith’s wife was reportedly washing dishes in the shared kitchen when Bakharia came and dumped his dishes in the sink as well. The situation reportedly turned physical after Griffith stepped in and confronted Bakharia, throttling him in the process and pushing him onto a metal gate.
However, Griffith, who is a carpenter by trade, told Magistrate Douglas Frederick today he was only defending himself and his wife since the complainant had “an attitude”.
“This man terrorize me for the last four years . . . . When I go to use the hot water he says that Guyanese don’t know nothing about hot water. I pay $150 a week for the room. My wife was washing wares in the sink and he come and throw his wares in the sink too and she move it and he start cussing my wife.
“He advance to me with a knife . . . . He could have killed me. I did not hit him, I did not push him, nothing so,” Griffith explained.
However, Bakharia, who was in court today, gave a very different account of what occurred. He claimed he had lodged nine complaints against the accused at the Black Rock Police Station in recent times.
Bakharia also explained that he was at the sink first on the day in question washing his dishes when his liquid soap ran out.
“I went in my room to get more soap and the wife come and move my wares out . . . . Then he [Griffith] come and start throwing his hand in my face saying he don’t like Muslim people and push me. Over three years this man threaten me day in, day out and I have witnesses,” Bakharia said.
In response, the magistrate said it was clear the two men could not live in the same place, adding that the only solution was for someone to move out.
He then gave the accused two weeks to vacate the premises so “this foolishness can stop”.
The magistrate also placed Griffith on a bond to keep the peace for a month, which, if breached, he must pay $750 or alternately spend one month in jail.
Frederick also ordered Bakharia not to provoke or interfere with Griffith, who returns to court on September 13.