By: St.Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- The Magistrate Court in Charlestown, Nevis, resumed its normal sitting on Tuesday November 5, 2013 before Her Honour, Yasmine Clarke.
A number of persons that were scheduled to appear before the court were not present to answer the charges brought against them. Nonetheless, the cases that were tried created excitement and interest.
The first matter, to be heard was that of Travis Riley of Dorset Village in St. Kitts. He pleaded not guilty to the charges of possession of cannabis, battery and resisting arrest.
According to Police Prosecutor, Steven Hector, on October 4, 2013, Riley was approached by Kennedy Stevens who identified himself as a police officer in plain clothes. The officer told Riley that he was in suspicion for having drugs and wished to conduct a search on him. Upon hearing those words, Riley became agitated and refused to compromise with Kennedy. When Kennedy realized that Riley was hesitant to comply with his request he went and searched the pier and discovered a few bags of cannabis.
In his testimony, Kennedy told the court that when Riley was confronted and asked to be searched he did not act in accordance of what was asked of him. Instead, he tried to flee the scene but was caught after being pursued. The Officer stated that he searched the pier and found the cannabis and was of the view that Riley had disposed the product when he ran off. He also stated that during the confrontation the defendant had pushed him in the chest in an attempt to throw him off the pier while resisting arrest.
In his defense, Riley asked Kennedy how was it possible for him to resist arrest when he never told him he was under arrest from the inception. The defendant continued, “You never told me I was under any arrest so you cannot hold me liable for that.” When asked if he scanned the Pier before he approach Riley the officer replied and said “No”, the cannabis was found after Riley tried to escape.
The defendant told the court he was recently released from prison, and he was not taking any chances with nobody who identifies themselves to be Police in plain clothes. He stated that he had a similar incident prior to this one and it turned out that the person was not whom they proclaimed to be. After listening to both sides, Her Honour dismissed the case against the defendant and told him that he was free to leave.
Also appearing before the court was Leroy Warner who resides in Bath Village who pled guilty to wounding with intent. According to the Prosecution, on October 19, 2013 at Anderson’s Shop located in Bath, a heated argument emerged between Warner and Delano Maloney. This led to the defendant pelting a bottle at Maloney that struck him in the face. As a result of the impact the complainant was required to take several stitches.
The defendant stated that his action came about, after Maloney had repeatedly chastised his mother verbally. He stated that Maloney had been warned on countless occasions, about his usage of language when referring to his mother, but never took heed of the warnings.
Warner also said that him and Maloney are friends and have known each other for a number of years. He also noted, that he pled with Maloney not to bring the matter before the court because a similar occurrence happened in the past and he settled the issue with Maloney even though the complainant was wrong.
When Maloney testified to the Court, he said Warner was drinking a Guinness at the time of the altercation. He noted that Warner spilled some of the alcoholic beverage on his foot, and because he confronted him Warner decided to hit him with the bottle. Maloney also stated that he never cursed Warner’s mother. The word that was been used is a “Slang” and is never directed towards a person’s mother Maloney stated.
Her Honour asked Warner, if he was intoxicated why he decided to hit Maloney with the bottle. Warner said he was not really drunk but he was not totally sober either. The Magistrate reminded the defendant that she had to send him to prison a few years ago just before Christmas and it seems as if he wants to spend the season in prison again. Her Honour said, “You want to go back down there to eat Ham and Turkey again”? Warner asked for leniency, stating that he did not want to go back to” Bakers Corner”.
He was fined one thousand (1000) dollars to be paid in three (3) months or six (6) months in prison.