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The defendant Raphael Lavia after his sentencing at the Kingstown Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.
The defendant Raphael Lavia after his sentencing at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.
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A Sandy Bay man who told another villager whose father was shot and killed that he would put him down “like yo daddy” has been bonded and fined.

Raphael Lavia, 31, was bonded for one year in the sum of EC$1,000.

If he breaches the bond, he must pay the sum forthwith or go to prison for three months.

However, Senior Magistrate Tammika Da Silva-McKenzie was more lenient on Lavia on an indecent language charge related to the same complainant and reprimanded and discharged him.

On Tuesday, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, Lavia pleaded guilty to a charge that on July 23, 2023, at Sandy Bay, in a public place, he made use of threatening language to Decoda Hoyte, also of Sandy Bay, to wit, “yo stinking m****r c**t, ah going put yo down like yo daddy. Member me tell you that”.

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Lavia also pleaded guilty to a charge that on July 23, at Sandy Bay, he made use of indecent language to Hoyte, to wit “yo stinking m****r c**t yo done run gone ah station. Member now ah night”.

The facts, read by prosecutor acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel, are that Hoyte and Lavia used to be friends.

On July 23, 2023, around 2:40 p.m., the virtual complainant (VC) was in Middle Street, Sandy Bay talking with some friends when the defendant approached the VC and said the words complained of.

Hoyte then replied, “Ah me you really ah talk to?”

Lavia walked closer to Hoyte, put his hand in Hoyte’s face and said, “Me ah tell yo to yo face, me ah put yo down like yo f***ing daddy.”

Hoyte took out his cell phone and tried to record Lavia, who walked away.

Because of the words used, Hoyte became fearful for his life mainly because his father had been shot and killed.

Lavia left the area and about 8 p.m. that night, he saw Lavia, who approached him again and said, “Yo stinking mother***t, yo done run gone ah station? Just remember now ah night.”

Hoyte did not respond to the defendant and reported the matter to the Sandy Bay Police Station. PC 1103 Nanton investigated and Lavia was charged.

The prosecutor told the court that Lavia has convictions for wounding, possession of ammunition, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft.

However, Lavia challenged the conviction record, saying that two of the matters listed thereon had not gone to trial as the VC had opted not to proceed against him.

In mitigation, defence counsel Grant Connell told the court that Laia has two children, aged 2 years, and 9 months.

He said his client was remorseful for his action, adding that Hoyte’s brother and Lavia are not friends.

The lawyer said Hoyte was “drinking tea for another man’s cold.

“Because he was throwing talks for him and they had no beef. So, in the heat of the argument, he used those words,” the lawyer said.

Connell said that the first set of words that Lavia used “seem to be the normal words in his limited vocabulary so he apologises for such.

“I know the issue of fear was submitted but the manifestation or the lack thereof is shown by the VC not even running. But he was wrong,” the lawyer said and suggested that Lavia apologise.

However, the senior magistrate said she thought “we would have started with that”.

The lawyer asked the court to place his client on a bond, adding that Lavia would apologise.

When Lavia took the stand, he said, “Mr, Hoyte, I want to apologise for the threatening language I used and if you could forgive me for my anger.”

 Hoyte told Lavia that he forgave him.

Connell then told the court that Lavia has “not been employed much right now.

“What little he earns is to maintain the two children,” the lawyer said and asked the court to allow Lavia to fulfil his obligation to his children and impose a bond. 

In handing down the sentence, the magistrate said that while Hoyte accepted the apology, he did not say he did not want to proceed with the matter.

“Therefore, the court has to impose a sentence that helps persons like you to not want to do certain things.”

She told Lavia she would not send him to prison, adding, “But at the same time, as a man thinketh, so is he.

“So, therefore, you start to think I going put you down like your daddy and you think it long enough, soon enough you going do it,” Da Silva-McKenzie said.

2 replies on “‘Ah going put yo down like yo daddy,’ man tells murder victim’s son”

  1. Really? Is the justice system encouraging criminals? How would anyone feel if Lavia kills or damage that guy?

  2. TAD I am so in agreement with you. A convicted criminal with other charges in the Courts made a promise to someone that he will murder him, furthermore he’s promising to coming murder against someone whose father was murdered. All in a public place on several occasions and he’s bonded? Are you kidding me.

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