Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne, on Monday, urged a 23-year-old aspiring soca artiste who chalked up an assault charge, to manage his temper.
“There is no place in the industry for persons who are ignorant and ill tempered,” she told Akym John aka “Soca Dan”, of Largo Height.
“It is an easy way to lose fans because it shows a lack of tolerance and that is not what you want, unless the music you are producing is of that type: hype, ignorance,” Browne said.
John, a secondary school graduate with five subjects, pleaded guilty to a charge that on June 24, at Largo Height, he assaulted fellow villager, Abbud Woodley with intent to commit an offence, to wit bodily harm.
He told the court that it was not his intention to appeal to the intolerant crowd.
The chief magistrate told him that his behaviour must mirror that.
“It is a brand. You have to be able to market yourself properly,” she said, telling John that an unnecessary altercation and criminal record is not what he wants.
“You do not know what fear something you say would trigger in someone. You don’t know what is people’s experience,” she said and put John on a bond “so that you will temper yourself”.
Browne said: “If you are an aspiring entertainer, you have to be able to communicate better.”
The chief magistrate advised the defendant to seek out course that would advance his communications skill.
The facts of the matter, as read by acting Corporal of Police 754 Harry, are that the virtual complainant lives in Largo Height and is the owner and driver of a passenger van.
Woodley knows the defendant well but they are not friends because of an altercation between John and Woodley’s brother.
On June 24, about 7:30 a.m., Woodley was driving his van when he stopped for a passenger in the vicinity of his home.
While there, the defendant approached him with a piece of board in his hand and pointed it at Woodley’s and said, ‘Way the f*** yo call my name to yo b***** man police man friend for?’
Woodley replied, “I am not telling lies on you.”
John began to curse but Woodley did not pay him much attention and drove off.
When Woodley was coming back, he stopped to pick up passengers where John was.
John went up to Woodley and pointed the board toward his face again and began to curse.
He stepped back as if he was going to hit Woodley, who drove off and reported the matter to the police.
PC 1056 Castello investigated the matter and charged John on Aug. 21.
In mitigation, John, who has no previous conviction, told the court that he did not approach Woodley in an aggressive manner to hit him.
He said he did not anticipate that the matter would have been reported to the police, resulting in his first criminal conviction.
“You see what’s happening today when people take chances? You are coming to him twice in a day with a board in your hand and he must take it light?”
John told the court lost his job at the Public Health Department after not taking a COVID-19 vaccine.
He said he now farms and sells agricultural produce as well as writes music and has released two songs.
The chief manager bonded John for six months in the sum of EC$1,500.
If he breaches the bond, he must pay the amount forthwith or go to prison for three months.