A Redemption Sharpes man was ordered to compensate a 16-year-old girl in the sum of EC$600 after smashing her phone after she ended a relationship with him.
“This thing was bad from the beginning for you as a big man to be having a relationship with children,” Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne told the man, Ezmonde “Ezzie” Patterson, of Redemption Sharpes, on Monday.
“The only thing that can come out of that is you would be manipulating her, no doubt, for more than a year,” she further said at the Serious Offences Court.
The facts of the matter are that Patterson and the 16-year-old, who is a hairdresser, also of redemption Sharpes, were in a relationship that ended in May 2022.
On Monday, Aug. 15, about 3:15 p.m., the complainant was at Little Tokyo, Kingstown, when Patterson approached her.
He pulled her aside and questioned her about a friend she was dating.
The teen refused to show Patterson her phone and he pulled it from her.
She reacted immediately and scuffled him by his shirt and asked him to give back the phone.
Patterson, however, refused and broke the phones to pieces with his hands and threw it on the ground.
The teen became angry and hit Patterson with her hands and told him to replace the broken device.
She took up the pieces of the cellular phone and took them to the Criminal Investigation Department in Kingstown and made a report.
About 4 p.m. that same day, Patterson went to the police station regarding the same incident and Police Constable 1035 Haywood informed him of the report about him.
He gave a statement in writing, admitting to the offence.
In her sentencing remarks, the chief magistrate noted that Patterson has a conviction for wounding, adding that this suggested that he has a temper.
Patterson, however, questioned the conviction, but admitted to it after Browne cited his alias and date of birth.
He told the court that he could not remember the conviction from two years earlier, which was handed down in the same court.
Browne further noted that the facts of the case suggested that the complaint might have been 14-plus when Patterson began a relationship with her.
She urged him to look for someone his age.
“You are an adult with your 20-something-year-old self. The young lady, you met her, questioning her about someone, telling her to show you her phone.”
Patterson told the court that he has a phone of his own.
“You take her phone, fiddling through it, no doubt, and you take it and smashed it.”
However, the defendant told the court that he wanted to make a call.
“What call you wanted to make?” the chief magistrate asked.
“To call my brother,” Patterson responded.
“To do what? For the two of you to gang up on her?” the chief magistrate fired back.
She said it was bad that people take other people’s domestic situation and manipulate it for their own “good”.
“She is not going to school. How did you facilitate her returning and learning a skill?”
Patterson said that he had encouraged the teen to go to Marion House to seek help.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor Station Sergeant of Police Renrick Cato told Patterson that it is the complainant’s choice if she wants to move on with her life.
“She is 16! Why are you going to confront her? She keeps on beating you, according to you. Why? She wants her phone! Why are you not giving it to her? You like the lash?” the prosecutor said, responding to Patterson’s earlier statement that the complaint was hitting him.
The chief magistrate noted the difference in the ages of the complainant and the defendant.
“And, of course, I don’t even want to go down to express how ridiculous this is. Over one year you’re in a relationship with this young lady, not going to school. This child was 14-plus when you met her.”
However, Patterson told the court that the complainant’s birthday is in December and he met her in February 2021.
He said that she turned 16 last December, but when questioned about the dates, Patterson’s story did not appear to match up.
Browne noted that the relationship lasted for more than a year. “It is gone beyond the time and the police should have picked up differently,” she said.
She told him that he has to pay the compensation forthwith or spend two months in prison.
Browne further bonded Patterson for one year. If he breaches the bond, he must pay the court EC$1,500 forthwith or go to prison for seven months.
“You see how you broke up the phone in a flash, I want the money now. If not, two months in Her Majesty’s Prisons.”
“I have never seen a phone so unrecognisable,” Browne commented.
“Even the battery is twisted,” Cato said as he held it up to the court.