The island’s Chief Magistrate Christopher Birch today expressed concern over the level of violence in the country saying it was “way too much”.
He made the comments as he spoke candidly to a 45-year-old Carlos Alvin Small, of No. 69 Mangrove, St Philip who had pleaded guilty to assaulting his father’s girlfriend Christine Bannister on January 11 occasioning her actual bodily harm.
“The ease in which people are resorting to violence is beginning to really scare me. Once upon a time we would stick to the verbals and then we stopped there. Now we are too fast to resort to the physical. Lives are being lost, families are being torn apart too easily,” the Chief Magistrate stated after Small issued an apology to Bannister in the District ‘C’ Magistrates’ Court.
Station Sergeant Peter Barrow said that Small has a number of dogs at the house which Bannister shares with his father. On the day of the incident he visited the residence and called for Bannister who was in the kitchen. She answered but moments later heard Small hurling abusive language at her accusing her of not giving the dogs any water. She contacted Small’s father as he entered the house.
According to the facts Small then approached Bannister making motions to hit her and went as far as blocking her path as she tried to move. As she attempted to walk away she suddenly felt a lash to the back of her neck, which caused her to stumble. The prosecutor said Small also slapped the complainant twice after she threw a bottle at him that missed. The matter was reported to police.
Small a first time offender admitted that he had a verbal confrontation with Bannister but claimed he did “not hit the lady . . . I only pushed her two or three times . . . . She told me she will make sure my mother and father bury me. She bound at me.
“But I was wrong. I apologise, I acted in a fit of rage and it will not happen again,” Small said to which the Chief Magistrate replied: “There is way too much violence.”
Reading from a medical report Birch revealed that Bannister sustained soft tissue injury to the jaw and rib area.
He ordered Small to compensate Bannister $2,500 in 90 days for the pain and injuries suffered or face 90 days in prison. No
conviction will be recorded once Small pays the money.
“To all of you, this is the time for peace. Make peace,” Chief Magistrate Birch said before the parties left the court.