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The defendant, Keran Williams leaves the Kingstown Magistrate's Court on April 22, 2024.
The defendant, Keran Williams leaves the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on April 22, 2024.

A teen mother has rejected in court the apology of her 29-year-old ex-boyfriend left her with a bloody eye after he came home to a meal of rice and no meat.

Dariel Cunningham, 19, said at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court that Keran Williams’ parents no longer wanted her at the house after she reported the assault to the police.

She told the court that when she went back to the house after the assault, the electricity had been switched off.

“Right now, I don’t know what to do. All how I turn, I dey bad because he put me in de situation and my people dem don’t want me around because I disobey dem because of he,” Cunningham vented in apparent frustration.

“All for some rice because no chicken in there,” Senior Magistrate Tammika Mc Kenzie-Da Silva commented.

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During the cross-talk between Cunningham and Williams, the virtual complainant told her assailant that his parents would not go against him for her because he is their child. 

“Never!” she said.

“You are not supposed to hit a woman, especially a woman who has a child for you,” Mc Kenzie-Da Silva told Williams.

“You know what it is like to give birth to a child?” she further told the defendant, who had admitted that it was not the first time that he had struck Cunningham.

Mc Kenzie-Da Silva noted that Williams had referred to Cunningham as his “child mother”.

The defendant responded that Cunningham had told him that their relationship was over.

Williams pleaded guilty to a charge that on April 20, at Green Hill he assaulted Cunningham, causing actual bodily harm.

The facts, read by acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel, a prosecutor, are that the parties were in a relationship for four years up to the date of the offence.

They have an 11-month-old child and were living together.

On April 20, about 11:45 p.m., Williams returned home and asked Cunningham if she had cooked.

She told him yes and when Williams checked, he met a small portion of cooked rice without any meat.

This upset him and he started to argue with Cunningham, who responded.

During the argument, Williams made a fist and struck Cunningham in the right eye and about her body.

She was able to push Williams away and run to a relative’s house for safety.

Williams pursued Cunningham but his father interceded and scolded him for his action.

Cunningham reported the matter to the police, leading to the charge being laid against Williams, who gave a caution statement, admitting to the offence.

In the caution statement, Williams told police that after finding “only ah drop ah rice in the pot”, he asked Cunningham “how she go eat all the food and leave a drop ah rice with no chicken”.

He further told police that during the argument they had pushed each other.

Williams said he “went into her face” and she pushed her and tried to wring his hand.

He said that he boxed her out of vexation.

Williams further told police that when he later saw Cunningham her right eye was swollen shut.

He said he felt guilty about her because he hit Cunmingham and was wrong to have done so.

Williams further told police it was not the first time he had gotten physical with Cunningham.

He said he felt bad about what had done and did not sleep after and was willing to pay for her medical expenses.

Williams told police that when he boxed Cunningham, the child was not in her hand.

“She was on the bed crying because we were arguing,” the defendant said.

After the facts, Williams told the court that he wanted to apologise “to my baby mother”.

Asked about the term, Williams said he used it because Cunningham had said that the relationship had ended.

The magistrate asked Williams if Cunningham had already told him this when he gave the police the police statement.

Williams said Cunningham told him this after.

Mc Kenzie-Da Silva noted that in the police statement, Williams also referred to Cunningham as his “child mother”, adding that this showed how he valued Cunningham as a person in his life.

Williams told the court that he had gotten physical with Cunningham before but it was the first time that it was getting that far. He said he has always apologised to her on those occasions also.

The magistrate ordered Williams to compensate Williams in the sum of EC$1,000 of which EC$200 was to be paid by 3 p.m. that day, April 22, if he was to avoid three days in prison.

He must pay the balance by May 21 to avoid a three-week prison sentence.

Further, Williams was bonded to keep the peace for the next year in the sum of EC$1,500 with one surety.

“I want somebody to know that he is not supposed to get into any trouble. That is why I put a surety,” the magistrate said.