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The defendant, Jace Baptiste.
The defendant, Jace Baptiste.

A 19-year-old man has been charged in connection with the July 11 attack on two Cuban medical professionals in Georgetown, one of whom was chopped on the hands.

Jace Baptiste, of Chilli Village, Georgetown, appeared before the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court today (Monday), where he was read four charges.

He pleaded not guilty to charges that on July 11, at Georgetown, he assaulted Janet Gameo Fableon, of Cuba/Georgetown, causing actual bodily harm; had in his possession an offensive weapon, to wit a cutlass; and threw missiles, to wit stones, to the danger, of Janet Gameo Fableon, of Cuba/Georgetown.

He was not required to plead to a fourth charge, which was laid on indictment, that on July 11, at Georgetown, he unlawfully and maliciously inflicted grievous bodily harm on Daima Ves Aeosta, of Cuba/Georgetown.

Prosecutor Corporal Delando Charles did not object to bail but asked that it be a significant sum.

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Magistrate Bertie Pompey set bail in the sum of EC$5,000 with one surety and ordered Baptiste to have no contact with the complainants.

He also adjourned and transferred the matters to the Serious Offences Court for hearing on July 20.

At the end of the sitting, around noon, the defendant had not secured a surety.

This is the second time in less than a month that Baptiste is appearing before the court.

On June 29, Baptiste pleaded guilty at the Colonarie Magistrate’s Court to a charge that between May 12 and 13, he stole one black Magnum bicycle, valued at EC$800, the property of Anthony Durrant, of Brownstown, Georgetown.

Pompey sentenced Baptiste to four months in prison, suspended for a year and ordered him to pay compensation of EC$800 in two months or spend five months in prison.

During the hearing, Baptiste told the magistrate that he plants marijuana.

“You’re saying it boldly and proudly! You have a license for weed?” the magistrate asked.

Baptiste, who said he also plants watermelons, told the court that he did not have a licence to plant marijuana.

The court heard that on May 12 at 11:52 pm, Durrant was riding his bicycle in the area of Spotlight Stadium when he met a group of young men and had a conversation with them.

During the conversation, Durrant got into an altercation with someone and left his bike in the area and walked to the police station to make a report.

When he returned for the bike, he discovered it was missing.

On June 29, officers recovered the bike, in pieces, at Baptiste’s home. The seat was missing.

The teen, who said he quit school in Form 1, told the court, “Somebody tek off the part off the bike”

He told the magistrate, “I am sorry and will never do it again.”

The July 11 attacks followed one on July 1 when a Cuban physician Alfredo Batista Salgado, a member of the Cuban Medical Brigade, was left in intensive care after being slashed in the abdomen in Kingstown.

No one has been charged in connection with that incident.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Cuba SVG Cuba Friendship Association said it “laments the recent attacks on members of the Cuban Medical Brigade who have been providing excellent and well needed healthcare services to our people.

“The Association further expresses our solidarity with all Cubans residing in our midst and reiterates that their presence among us continues to be welcomed and appreciated.”

The statement by Bernard Hamilton, the association’s coordinator, said:

“At the same time the SVG Cuba Friendship Association expresses our hope that the perpetrators of these crimes would be brought to justice, as should anyone who engages in violent behaviour which upsets the atmosphere of peace and friendliness for which our nation has been renowned.  

“The SVG Cuba Friendship Association wishes continued recovery to the injured members of the Cuban Medical Brigade.”