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Man gets 10 months for stealing purse, assault, breaching bond

Man gets 10 months for stealing purse, assault, breaching bond

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Rillan Hill resident Grafton McDowall will have to spend approximately 10 months in prison after being convicted of stealing a woman’s purse and breaching a bond he was placed on last year.

At the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday,{{more}} McDowall was charged with theft of a purse belonging to Cassia Hutchins of New Montrose and assault, causing bodily harm, on November 29, 2014, at about 5:45 a.m.

According to Hutchins, she was walking in the vicinity of Randy’s Bakery at Road to Leeward, when she saw McDowall urinating on a wall.

As she continued walking on the left hand side of the road, opposite the bakery, she said she observed McDowall walking behind her, but did not pay any attention to him.

“Just a little while after, I don’t know how he reach so close to me. I felt something like a hand around my neck and this surge of fear come over me. I was struggling back and forth and I remember both of us on the ground,” she recalled.

Hutchins said she passed out for a little while and found herself on her belly, along with McDowall on the ground wrestling her bag away.

She said he managed to pull away the bag from her and he ran in the direction of the Victoria Park.

“I kept on chasing him and while running I was screaming for help but nobody was on the road,” Hutchins added, stating that she ran all the way to Paul’s Avenue in search of her attacker.

She then said that God spoke with her and told her to go to the St Martin’s Secondary School area, where she said she found her purse on a table, with most of its contents scattered around.

She said her Blackberry cellular phone and EC$10 were missing.

A report was subsequently lodged at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Hutchins said they went in search of McDowall in a police vehicle and upon reaching the Botanic Gardens, he was seen sitting on a wall.

One police officer, who accompanied Hutchins said he saw when McDowall took some items from his pocket and threw them on the ground, items which were later found to be a Blackerry phone and a bomb of cannabis.

When asked where he got the phone, McDowall told the officers that he bought it from a man for $50, but couldn’t remember the name of the man.

He was arrested and taken back to the Criminal Investigations Department holding cell.

In his evidence, prosecution witness, Assistant Superintendent Glenford Gregg, who was present at CID when McDowall was brought in, said he heard the accused call out to him, stating that he wished to speak with him.

“I told him I can’t speak with him because I might have to prosecute the matter. He still insisted to speak with me and I told him I have to caution him,” Gregg told the court.

Gregg said McDowall told him he was in some trouble because he pulled away a woman’s bag and threw it away after.

During cross-examination, McDowall never disputed that he uttered those words to Gregg.

In his testimony, McDowall said he was nowhere around at the time of the incident, stating that he was in Heritage Square the night before and then made his way to the Botanic Gardens area to catch a bus.

After finding him guilty, magistrate Carla James sentenced McDowall to four months on the theft charge and two months on the assault, causing bodily harm charge.

The sentences will run concurrently.

The court also heard that McDowall had been placed on a six-month bond for another conviction on October 7, 2014 and had breached that bond.

That bond was activated and McDowall will serve a further six months in jail after his four-month sentence concludes.

Just before the matter concluded, senior prosecutor at the Serious Offences Court Adolphus Delpesche informed the court that McDowall was in the habit of attacking women.

“Our ladies in SVG must be able to walk here freely. He’s always attacking women. You must leave women alone,” Delpesche said.

PC 597 Shamrock Pierre led the prosecution’s case.(KW)

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