By: St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)-The District ‘C’ Magistrate Court in Charlestown, Nevis resumed its normal sitting on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 before Her Honour, Yasmine Clarke.
A number of cases were traversed to various dates and the only matter to be heard, was that of Joseph ‘Bruce’ Williams who pleaded not guilty to Battery. Williams was charged for beating his wife Sasha Hanley-Williams, a resident of Hamilton Estate on July 31, 2014.
According to Mrs. Williams, she was at her workplace along with five other persons, when her husband stormed into the building in a rage and started shouting profusely at her. Mrs. Williams stated that she was sitting in a chair, when the defendant made his way over to her and started pointing his finger in her face. She indicated that she asked him to refrain from pointing his finger in her face and at that point, he slapped her across the right cheek.
The single witness in the matter, Mrs. Inga Lawrence, told the court what had transpired between both individuals. She claimed that Mr. Williams seemed to be driven by anger when he entered the room and when the attempt was made to hit Mrs. Williams she escaped the full impact of the blow, because she raised her hand in defense. She also noted that the physical aspect of the altercation may have caught Mrs. Williams by surprise; since she was seated at the time. Mrs. Lawrence said that during the dispute she was standing at the side of both persons.
In his defense, Mr. Williams said on the day of the incident he had taken a day off from work to assist a friend who came over from St. Kitts. He noted that about 10:20 a.m. he called his wife and inquired where the children were and she told him that one was at the daycare and the other one was at home. Mr. Williams said he journeyed over to the residence where his wife indicated the child was located and blew his horn, but no one answered. Williams claimed that when no one came out of the house where his wife said the child should have been, he left and went to her workplace and told her not to mess with his head.
The defendant told the court, that he was cognizant of the fact that he was wrong to go where his wife was employed and caused interference, but he did not lay his hand on her. When questioned by Prosecutor, Stephen Hector, if he had made physical contact with his wife, Mr. Williams said he did but it was as a result of her trying to push his hand from before her face. Mr. Williams continued, “I did made contact with her because she tried to move my hand but I did not slap her as she wants you all to believe”.
In her judgment, the Magistrate told Williams that she would not punish him, but she did not believe for one second that he went to the workplace of his wife just to talk. She noted, “I do not believe you went there just to tell her don’t mess with you but I believe you went there out of anger and put your hands on her as she said”. Her Honour, warned the defendant to abstain from putting his hands on his wife, noting that if they were not getting along, he should find ways to resolve their issues but it must not be done through violence.