A Penniston security guard has been ordered to compensate his father for striking him in the head and was also bonded for threatening to cut out his brother’s belly.
Kevin Neale, who works at the Kingstown Central Market, appeared before Kingstown Magistrate John Ballah on Monday, and pleaded guilty to charges that on Aug. 22, at Penniston, he assaulted Kent Hamilton, of Penniston, causing actual bodily harm.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge that on Sept. 2, in a public place, to wit the Penniston public road, he made use of threatening language, to wit “Ah must cut out yuh belly” to Alric Neale.
The facts, presented by the prosecutor, acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel, are that on Aug. 22, about 8:15 p.m., Hamilton was sitting at a shop in Penniston with his back turned to the road.
Hamilton felt a touch to his neck and turned around and noticed that it was his son.
They got into an argument and Neale pulled a piece of iron from his waist and struck his father to the back of his head.
This caused an injury and the matter was reported to the police, who issued Hamilton with forms, which he returned with the doctor’s findings.
Neale was cautioned and interviewed at the Vermont Police Station on Monday but gave a statement to the police denying the allegation.
As regards the threatening language charge, the court heard that the defendant had been living with his brother, Ulric Neale, previously but moved out because of an altercation.
On Sept. 2, about 2:30 p.m., Ulric Neale was walking along the Penniston public road when the defendant approached him and asked for EC$180, claiming that Ulric Neale’s stepson had damaged the defendant’s device.
Ulric Neale refused to give the defendant the money, telling him, “Let us go to the station to settle the matter there.”
The defendant responded “Ah not going to no police station. Ah must cut out yuh belly.”
Ulric Neale became fearful and went to the police station and reported the matter.
In mitigation, Kevin Neale told the court that he had struck his father with his hand.
When the defendant told the court that he is a security guard, the magistrate commented, “So, you are somebody who has a lot of responsibility placed in your hand and can de-escalate situations.”
Meanwhile, Neale told the court that he is paid EC$642 a fortnight.
The magistrate ordered him to compensate his father EC$500 in one month or spend one month in prison.
Neale was also bonded for one year in the sum of EC$1,500. If he breaches the bond, he must pay the sum forthwith or spend six months in prison.
Ballah noted that there are no guidelines for sentencing people for using threatening language. He, therefore, relied on the principles of sentencing: retribution, prevention, deterrence and rehabilitation.
He said he did not think that a custodial sentence was warranted but at the same time the court would hand down a sentence that reflects society’s abhorrence to the use of threatening language.
Ballah imposed a fine of EC$300 to be paid in two weeks or two weeks in prison.