A man who reportedly once stole a bible and is a frequent inmate at the Richmond Hill prison has been awarded $EC 2000.00 in compensation for a beating received at the hands of Frequente resident, Kim Hamilton in May 2014.
Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill awarded the compensation package to Kent Patrice of Cherry Hill St, George who was brought from the Richmond Hill prison for the court hearing.
The monetary award was disclosed in court after Hamilton pleaded guilty to a charge of “unlawfully and intentionally causing harm” to the complainant.
According to the Chief Magistrate, the accused has 4 months tocompensate Patrice and in default serve a 1-year sentence at Her Majesty’s Prison.
Patrice was allegedly beaten after he was caught exiting Hamilton’s home in the south of the island.
In putting forward its case, the Police Prosecution pointed to Patrice’ claim that Hamilton “hit him with an instrument” on his forehead, which resulted in his hospitalization for a 5-day period at the St. George’s General Hospital, nursing a 7-stitch wound and other injuries.
Hamilton, a father of 2, with no prior convictions, was represented in court by Attorney-at-law Peter David.
The accused told the court that Patrice damaged his forehead when he fell and hit the ground during the altercation, which commenced after he witnessed Patrice coming out from inside his house unauthorised.
In Hamilton’s defense, Attorney David pointed out that his client, a fisherman by profession, takes full responsibility for his actions, but was quick to note that Patrice has a reputation for house breaking and stealing.
He told the court that a “big fight” took place and it included other members of the community who are aware and fed up of Patrice’ stealing habits.
David charged that approximately one year later, the said Patrice has once again found himself on the wrong side of the law coupled with the fact that he is currently serving a sentence at the prison for stealing a bible.
The Police Prosecution put forward the argument that although Patrice has prior convictions of the same nature, it does not mean that his rights should go unnoticed.
“Your Honour, the amount of blows he got was not justifiable,” said the Lead Police Prosecutor who also made a request for compensation to be granted to the complainant.
Hamilton, who escaped a maximum prison term of 2 years for the crime, apologised to the court for his actions, noting that he is “not a bad boy or a violent person,” but reacted with first impulse given Patrice’s reputation in the area for stealing.
Patrice was also charged by Police for breaking and stealing in the same incident but the case was dismissed against him due to the fact that Hamilton was “a no-show” at the various court hearings.