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The defendant's Vennol Culzac leaves the Kingstown Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024.
The defendant’s Vennol Culzac leaves the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024.
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The Form 2 drop out who went to his former school and threatened to stab the deputy principal with a pair of scissors says the two nights he spent in prison were “the worst experience” of his life.

“It was the worst experience of my life and I would not like to go back. Up there is not good,” Vennol Culzac, 18, of Barrouallie, told Senior Magistrate Colin John, on Wednesday, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

“You can’t be going on the school compound and threatening anybody…” the magistrate told Culzac who two days earlier pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and assault charges.

On Monday, Culzac pleaded guilty at the same court to a charge that on Feb. 2, at Barrouallie, he entered upon the compound of the Barrouallie Secondary School as a trespasser and at the time had in his possession a pair of scissors with intent to intimidate.

He also pleaded guilty to a charge that on the same date and place, he assaulted Raffique Durham, of Barrouallie, with intent to wound him.

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“You were sent there (prison) to be taught a lesson. I hope you learn from that experience. And hope you will not come before the court in the future, at least not in the capacity as a defendant,” the magistrate told Culzac.

He then invited Durham, the deputy principal of the school into the dock.

“You heard what he said and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court has some guidelines as regards sentencing people under 18,” John told the educator, adding that Culzac was “bordering 18”.

The magistrate said he would apply the guidelines, which say that a custodial sentence should be a last resort when sentencing young offenders.

“I sent him there to see how he will feel if goes there,” the magistrate said and reprimanded Culzac, telling him not to engage in similar behaviour again.

He, however, also bonded the teen in the sum of EC$500 for one year.

If Culzac breaches the bond, he must pay the court EC$500 forthwith or spend six months in prison.

“I hope you learnt your lesson, Mr. Culzac and you do not come back before the court again in that capacity,” John said.

The facts of the case are that on Feb. 2, the principal was absence and Durham was in charge of the school.

Vennol Culzac 2
The defendant’s Vennol Culzac uses a sheet of paper to hide his face as he leaves the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024.

Around noon, the school bell had just rung for the lunch break and Durham was on his way to the principal’s office.

Durham descended a flight of steps leading to the Form 1 section of the school and met a young man, later identified as Culzac, dressed in a black t-shirt and short blue jeans pants.

The deputy principal immediately asked Culzac if he was a student of the school and he responded no.

Durham asked him to leave the school compound but Culzac continued to walk along the form 1 corridor until he came to a dead end.

The deputy principal used his cell phone to take a photograph of Culzac who demanded that Durham delete it.

Culzac began walking towards the educator and pulled a pair of scissors from his back pants pocket and threatened the deputy principal with it.

Durham backed away and Culzac picked up one of the school chairs and swung it at him. 

Durham was eventually able to escape and went into the principal’s office and notified the Barrouallie Police Station.

Police Constable 830 Neil responded and when he arrived, the deputy principal informed him that Culzac was at the roadside outside of the school compound.

Culzac was arrested and a search of his person revealed nothing illegal.

He was taken to the Barrouallie Police Station.

Later in the day, Culzac told the police that he wanted two show them where he had thrown the scissors.

He took Keil to where he was searched early and pointed to an area of a wooden shed where the scissors were recovered under some bushes.

The next day, Culzac was interviewed at the Layou Police Station in the presence of a justice of the peace and he volunteered a statement in writing and was later charged. 

On Monday, he told the court that he had gone into the school because he had thought it was having its road relay.

However, the senior magistrate pointed out that a road relay is not held on the school compound.

He asked Culzac why he did not leave when Durham instructed him to do so.

Culzac said he was leaving, adding that he started to threaten Durham only after he attempted to photograph him.  

Culzac is not one of Durham’s former students.

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