A Layou wife beater on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, trembled and cried at the prospect of going to jail for abusing his wife two days after Christmas.
Michael Young escaped jail time but was bonded for a year after he pleaded guilty at the Serious Offences Court in Kingstown to assaulting his wife, Anesta Edwards-Young, occasioning actual bodily harm.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias entered a guilty plea for the man after he repeatedly said that he was “guilty with an explanation”.
The court heard that the defendant and the virtual complainant have been married for five years.
Young has a history of physical and verbal abuse of his wife, occurences of which were reported to the police and dealt with, accordingly.
The defendant is also an alcoholic, which condition triggers his abuse of his wife.
On Dec. 27, 2017, Young’s wife, a nursing assistant, went to work at the Layou Health Centre leaving the defendant at home to prepare a meal for her on her return.
Edwards-Young returned home around 4 p.m. and found that her husband was not at home and had not prepared anything for her to eat.
She got angry and went for a walk and when she returned home around 4 p.m., she met her husband sleeping.
Edwards-Young woke her husband and they began to argue.
The defendant grabbed his wife by the neck and began squeezing it and slammed her head against the porch wall.
She was treated at the Layou Health Centre and filed a report with the police, which led to the charge against her husband.
Young, however, told the court that it was his wife who attacked him after he told her that his sister-in-law cooks for her husband.
“She is a terrible person, not easy to go with,” he told the court.
“You neither,” the magistrate commented and then asked for Edwards-Young.
However, the virtual complainant did not turn up to the trial.
“No appearance of Mrs. Young. It look like the wife wah’ yo’ go jail,” the magistrate told the defendant who began to tremble and wipe tears from his eyes.
He told the court that it was the first time that he had struck Edwards-Young since they have been married.
The man denied having a problem with alcohol, but said he would have a drink ever so often.
“These injuries are not to be taken lightly and she needs nursing,” the chief magistrate commented, as she considered Edwards-Young’s medical report, adding that it was ironic that the abused woman is a nursing assistant.
The chief magistrate said that while she did not like the man’s actions at all, she would give him a chance to do better.
She told him that verbal abuse of his wife is just as bad or even worse than the physical abuse.
The chief magistrate told the man that his wife is an equal partner in their relationship, saying that they should both pull their weight.
“This is a new year. If you are not accustomed to spill honey and syrup on her,” start now, she told the man, who began to laugh sheepishly.
She then bonded the man for six months in the sum of EC$1,000 to be paid forthwith or six months in jail.
“That is just for you to keep a check on your temper,” the chief magistrate told the defendant.