A 51-year-old Prospect man has been sent for a psychiatric evaluation after he punched his mother — a frail 79-year-old woman who moves around by shuffling while supported by others — resulting in actual bodily harm.
The man, Brian King, pleaded guilty to the charge on Monday at the Serious Offences Court, in Kingstown, the third time he was entering such a plea.
He also pleaded guilty when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Friday, the second time he did so.
Burnett, however, entered a not guilty plea for the man, who, after hearing the facts as presented by the prosecution, denied boxing his mother in the face.
The senior magistrate also decided to transfer the matter to the Serious Offences Court as he had already heard King’s defence outside of a trial.
When the matter was called at the Serious Offences Court before Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, on Monday, King again pleaded guilty to the charge that on May 26, 2019, at Prospect, he assaulted Annie King, causing actual bodily harm.
The facts are that Mr. King lives with his mother, a retired businesswoman at Prospect.
On the date in question, about 5 p.m., they both got into an argument, in which Mr. King told his mother she was the reason that his sister in the United States had stopped talking to and sending money for him.
The woman told her son to be patient, saying that he “might end up getting more than me”.
The man then turned to his mother and told her, “I will give you yuh a f***ing cuff to blind yuh eye”.
She then admonished her son to show some respect, reminding him that she is his mother.
He then told her, “I will show yuh mother***t respect” and proceeded to box his mother in her left eye.
Ms King then screamed out, “My eye! My eye blind!”
Her son replied: “Yuh f***ing eye should blind so yuh be nyamming the s**t off the streets like a dog.”
He then cuffed her in the mouth.
On May 28, about 9 a.m., the matter was reported to the Calliaqua Police Station.
Mr. King gave police a statement admitting that he hit his mother in the mouth.
He was then arrested and charged.
In mitigation, Mr. King admitted to assaulting his mother but maintained that he did not cuff her.
He also said that he boxed her but she did not fall.
In his submission, Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche told the court that Mr. King should not escape a jail sentence.
“He must go to jail,” the prosecutor said forcefully. “And no long talk, I am recommending two years, he having pleaded guilty.”
The prosecutor said that his mother is dead and he wished she still alive.
“Oh, mommy, I love you,” he said, adding, to King, “You ah box down yours. You are a wicked, ungodly beast!”
Meanwhile, the chief magistrate said that the defendant gets credit for pleading guilty, but said that the offence is extremely serious.
“And the circumstances are terribly worrying and extremely unfortunate,” she said.
She said that the medical report was telling.
“There is not even space to put the injuries sustained,” she said, noting that the entries on the form are clearly written.
“… and it’s as a result of one thing, it’s like a whole ripple effect across the whole side of the face, the jaw, the lips, the inner mouth, the upper mouth and seeing the pictures of the injury, extremely horrific and the age of the virtual complainant,” Browne said.
The prosecutor noted to the court that victim is 79 years old.
The chief magistrate said:
“You, in your full strength, a very frail virtual complainant who had to be assisted and very slow in gait; to even get half way to the box took some time this morning. How could you?”
But the defendant maintained that he did not box down his mother.
“I swear to almighty God. I did assault her, but I did not box down my mother,” Mr. King said.
On Friday at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Mr. King had said that he had lost his patience with his mother after she wet herself four times in quick succession, resulting in him having to bathe her on each occasion.
He said he then accused her of being spiteful in that regard.
On Monday, the prosecutor told the court about King’s explanation, adding:
“How many times she would have had to clean his defecation? She would have done that for him as a child.” he said.
“You know how many times you urinate?” the chief magistrate said.
“And defecate,” the prosecutor added.
The chief magistrate noted that at the time when Mr. King was a child, disposable diapers were not popular.
“I am sure she had to wash that on hand and hang out and use the appropriate soap so your skin wouldn’t rash up.”
“God bless you, mommy,” Delplesche said.
The chief magistrate said sometime some children take a while to stop wetting their beds.
“Specially when you dun tumble down in school and get all kinda box all over yuh back. Yuh come home, flood way mommy and all on the bed,” she said in the Vincentian vernacular.
“Mr. King, this is terrible. Yuh doh do that,” Browne said.
The chief magistrate suspended the matter for a few minutes to contemplate a sentence.
However, when the matter resumed, the court heard from Rodney Small, Ms King’s grandson and nephew of the accused.
Small said that after the incident, his family had discussed what had happened and, based on certain observations were wondering if Mr. King has mental health issues.
The court, therefore, decided to send Mr. King for two weeks of psychiatric evaluation, the report of which would help to inform his sentence.