A man on trial for chopping another over stolen ackees was found guilty by a jury today.
On November 13, Leroy Augustus Scott will be sentenced in the No. 3 Supreme Court. The 36-year-old, of Charnocks, Christ Church was charged with wounding with intent to maim, disfigure or disable Vernon Forde on August 13, 2015.
The verdict came after three witnesses took the stand and faced questioning from Acting Senior Crown Counsel Rudolph Burnett. Scott, who was unrepresented by counsel, addressed the jury before Justice Carlisle Greaves, the trial Judge.
Dr Babatunte Oredein said he examined Forde in the Accident and Emergency at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He was found to have two lacerations to his head – a four centimetre cut to the right side of the forehead and another five centimetre one to the back left side. His left hand also suffered injury which resulted in “loss of flesh to the thumb”.
Oredein said he prescribed pain medication and gave Forde a tetanus shot along with stitches. He determined that the injuries were consistent with being chopped with a sword. The injuries, according to the doctor, were classified as “life threatening” especially the injuries to the head.
“Even though there was no history of loss of consciousness…the degree of force used stopped short of the bone. He could’ve lost a lot of blood…significant enough to threaten the life of the patient,” Oredein explained.
Forde was then referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
In cross examination, the accused referred to Oredein’s evidence about Forde’s injuries being moderate to severe and queried the time of Forde’s discharge from the hospital.
Oredein admitted that he was not in a position to respond as Forde had been referred to the surgeon who was better able to provide that information.
Scott then asked to view Ordein’s notes “to make sure there were only three injuries”.
Police constable Julian Lashley also took the stand and told the court that Scott gave oral and written statements to police about what occurred. Both statements Scott denied making.
During questioning, Lashley recalled Scott saying “Officer I gave him couple chops, he disrespect me and carry way my ackees.”
In addition, Scott also identified the cutlass he used in the attack and directed Lashley to the area where the incident took place.
Lashley, in his evidence, said Scott took him and another officer to a bus stop outside the Grantley Adams International Airport and said: “I chop he here.”
In the written statement, Scott said he was by a shop near the airport and he had ackees on the dominoes table. He decided to get more ackees and instructed a girl to sell some of the fruit for him. Forde intervened and offered to make the sale for Scott. Scott declined Forde’s offer, calling him disrespectful. Scott then left, got more ackees and returned to the table only to find the fruits gone.
He walked over to the bus stop by the airport and saw Forde selling ackees, some of which looked like his.
“Where my ackees? ” Scott asked as he confronted Forde.
Scott said he then pulled out his cutlass and chopped Forde three or four times and walked away.
Addressing the jury, Scott said Forde had no witnesses to “say I did this” and asked them to find him not guilty.