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Case against hearing impaired man dismissed

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There was deafening silence on Monday at the Serious Offences Court for Aubrey Wilson, so when Magistrate Sonya Young dismissed a charge of wounding against a deaf man, no sign of emotions appeared on his face.{{more}}

The 61-year-old Union Island resident was brought before the Serious Offences Court on a wounding charge. However, Chief Magistrate Sonya Young dismissed the matter against the elderly man since he could not understand sign language or hear anything.

Sign language interpreter, Fred Stay tried to interview the defendant the day before to ascertain whether or not the man understood sign language or what was actually taking place. On Monday in court, Stay said that he sat with Wilson for about 45 minutes but he (Wilson) could not understand sign language. He further added that sign language is something that is taught and he would have been able to communicate with someone who had been to school or may have been exposed to the language. Stay however suggested that the use of gestures or maybe even body language might help with communicating with Wilson.

Attorney for the defendant Sylvester Raymond-Cadette suggested to the court that a not guilty plea be entered and the matter be transferred to Union Island.

Station Sergeant Nigel Butcher agreed with Cadette’s suggestion, but said that the matter would not be likely go ahead. Butcher also told the court that he wanted the Virtual complainant to be present to state whether or not he wants the matter continued.

Magistrate Young however, said that she did not agree with the suggestion made from either side of the bar table. Young stated that it was clear that Wilson did not understand what was happening and it would just be a waste of judicial time. “I have decided to dismiss this matter at this juncture, this defendant is not aware of anything that is being said to him,” the Chief Magistrate stated. (KW)

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