The issue of violence against women had the attention of the law courts for a second successive day as the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court heard how a 55-year-old man assaulted a female he was involved with.
Adrian Daniel Skeete, of Codrington Road, Stuart Hill, St John, reappeared before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court on Thursday after spending a 28-day stint on remand. He had previously pleaded guilty to assaulting Yvrose Taylor on November 27, causing her harm.
The court heard from Police Constable Ralph Rollock that the two had been in a relationship for four years. On November 27, Skeete saw Taylor walking along Fairchild Street in the area known as ‘Vincy Town’, and asked her why she had not been answering her cellular phone.
Skeete became aggressive and tried to block Taylor’s path. She eventually left but he caught up with her and questioned her again. Skeete then slapped the woman in the face, held her by the neck and bit her on her inner left bicep. Taylor was able to get away and reported the matter to the police.
In mitigating on Skeete’s behalf, attorney-at-law Mohia Ma’at informed the court that his client, an avid road tennis player, was a first-time offender who was gainfully employed.
He further stated that Skeete had already spent 28 days on remand and three days in police custody in connection with the offence. Also in the convicted man’s favour, the defence attorney said, was that he did not use a weapon in committing the offence.
“My instructions are that the parties had a little beverage that day – the now convicted man and the complainant,” Ma’at said. “I would like the court to consider that he is a first-time offender and has 55 years of good character, but he made an error. He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and . . . did not waste the court’s time. Now he is facing a strike against his name for assault.”
Ma’at urged the court to take all those factors into consideration in contemplating the sentence. He suggested that his client be reprimanded and discharged.
“Not happening here,” Chief Magistrate Weekes responded.
“This man put his hands on a woman and you are telling me reprimand and discharge? Not in relation to putting his hands on a woman. You’re telling me to slap him on the back and let him go ahead. The nature of the offence is such that you can’t consider any reprimand and discharge.”
But Ma’at reiterated that Skeete had already spent 28 days on remand and again pointed to the other mitigating factors. The lawyer then requested that a presentencing report be done before any punishment was handed down.
The Chief Magistrate agreed to that submission and ordered Skeete to reappear on July 6, 2022, for sentencing.
However, Weekes expressed concern about men assaulting women.
“This culture continues to develop in this place where men do not seem to understand that [they are] in relationships with adults. So you can’t tell the woman she got to answer the phone when you call and all of that. That is madness. What is wrong with your brains? This is not the 18th century . . . . You all got to stop this nonsense,” he said.
Ma’at was quick to point out that the reverse also happens but men were not coming forward to report such abuse.
His client has other legal troubles, however, as he has to make another court appearance on two other charges.
Skeete denied damaging a cellular phone and a pair of glasses belonging to Junika Taylor as well as assaulting her causing actual bodily harm, on November 27.
He is on $4,000 bail, in the meantime, and has been warned to stay away from the complainants.