A St Joseph father today said he was sorry for his action on the day he choked his ex-girlfriend and mother of his 11-year-old son.
Ryan O’neal Wood told the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court presided over by Acting Magistrate Anika Jackson: “I am sorry for my action on that day. My intention that day was on my son and I was acting in the best interest of my son. I never went with the intention of taking action on her.”
In his mitigation plea, he said that there was an agreement that his son would stay at his mother on weekdays and spend the weekends with him, but the boy’s grades started to drop and he wanted to change the agreement.
When the matter opened on Monday, the 39-year-old painter of Braggs Hill, St Joseph pleaded guilty to assaulting Simone Gittens of Jackson Terrace, Stage 2, St. Michael, occasioning her actual bodily harm on January, 6, 2019.
The court heard from prosecutor PC Kenmore Phillips that the 11-year-old did not pick up his step-sister from school, and when his father brought him home later in the evening and said he wanted to talk to her (mother) there was an altercation between the two adults that led to the choking incident.
The matter was adjourned until Wednesday to hear the complainant’s side, and she said among other things that Wood had slapped her in the face and choked her. When the matter resumed Wood had attorney-at-law, Shamar Bovell as his counsel and the attorney sought to have the guilty plea vacated but the application was turned down by the Acting Magistrate who adjourned the matter until today for the medical report.
When the case resumed, Wood said the attorney was no longer representing him.
According to the medical report, there was soft tissue injury to the face and a degree of mild force was used on the neck.
Wood said he accepted the evidence of the medical report.
While noting that it was admirable that Wood had an interest in his son, the Acting Magistrate told him that his action was not lawful nor responsible.
She, therefore, sentenced him to a bond of 12 months to keep the peace and if he defaults, he must pay $750 forthwith or spend three months in jail. Additionally, there was a compensation order of $500 to be paid in one week.