Friday 21 September, 2018

Woman beater given a break at the urging of his victim

After pleading guilty to beating a woman with whom he had an intimate relationship, then injecting a bit of ‘attitude’ into the proceedings, a man got a sharp, sudden shock in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Friday.

In the end, he was only saved by the forgiveness of the victim, and her plea for mercy on his behalf.

Ricardo Simmonds, 36, was accused of using a perfume bottle to repeatedly hit the woman in her head, and using a piece of board to hit her on one of her feet.

The father of four children was subsequently charged with assault occasioning bodily harm.

Simmonds pleaded guilty to using the perfume bottle on his lover, but denied using the piece of board.

His explanation for the action he pleaded guilty to, did not appear to impress presiding Parish Judge, Chester Crooks.

"It was just a little dispute we have. It's something wah just get outta hand," the accused man said.

Then he was asked by the judge if he had any children with the woman he had beaten, to which Simmonds replied: “Ask her".

With the complainant indicating that they had no child together and were living apart, the judge simply went to business, and handed down a fine of $50,000, with an alternate of four months in prison.

Instantaneously, Simmonds started pleading for time to pay, indicating that he had brought only $5,000 to court.

"That's all you brought today? So you are saying hitting her with a perfume bottle is worth $5,000? The perfume bottle is hard and could shatter or crack her skull. There are consequences for hitting people, especially a female. You have three daughters and a son, is that what you are teaching them?" chided the judge.

Simmonds then went into an even lower gear, declaring that he had to do back-to-school shopping for his children, and would be challenged to quickly come up with the $50,000.

Judge Crooks then left it all up to the complainant, whom he asked what she wanted to be done to Simmonds.

The woman begged for mercy for the man who had abused her.

“Give him a break. As him say, him have him kids to take care of, and he is a good father," she said.

Crooks then ordered Simmonds to apologise to the complainant and thank her for the request for mercy from the court.

Following his compliance, the judge ordered that Simmonds be placed on one year of probation, with him being in line for a mandatory prison sentence if he runs afoul of the law within the probationary period.