Van Conductor bonded for assaulting Girls’ High School student
A van conductor who was found guilty of assaulting a fifth form student of the Girls’ High School has been warned to leave people’s children alone.
The warning came yesterday from senior magistrate Rickie Burnett who also reprimanded the 15-year-old student for her association with the van conductor.
Kerique Ashton, 20 years old, appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court charged with assaulting a student of the prestigious girls’ school, his ex-girlfriend, on April 25.
At first, the teenager was not present in the court, and the bare bone facts as presented by the police were read in court. It was said that the young lady was on the day in question, at around 1:30 p.m., sitting in the minibus ‘Action’, of which Ashton was a conductor.
A female passenger on the minibus then asked her to turn down her music, and the young lady apparently did so. Ashton, who was apparently eyeing the student, asked her to get out of the van. The driver then took action and told him to calm down. Ignoring the driver, when the student refused, Ashton apparently pulled her from the van, and the student fell to the ground and injured her left shoulder.
It was thought that the young lady was not present in court because she had exams, but Ashton said that she did not have exams on that day.
“You know quite a lot about her, that’s why I want to see her,” the senior magistrate replied.
A couple hours later the matter was called again, and this time the young lady was present.
She gave a fast-paced recount of that day, adding meat to the bones. She indicated that the current girlfriend of the van conductor was inside the van when she was. She said the present girlfriend was watching her, and therefore she “watch her back.”
A lady in the van then apparently started speaking to her, and asking why she was watching the girl hard, to which the student responded that if she had wanted to do the conductor’s current girlfriend something, that she would have done it already.
Eventually, the situation deteriorated to the point where the conductor asked the students and her friends, “Alyuh come out the f**king van.” The ex-girlfriend insisted that she wasn’t going to because she wanted to go to her destination.
The young lady said that she wanted “justice to be served,” but shook her head in response to the question of compensation for her injuries.
Cold in her response to the Senior Magistrate’s inquiry as to whether he should send the defendant, with whom she had been involved for two years, to jail, she said, “If that is the right thing to do, yes, I think you should.”
Ashton intoned that the young lady had called the driver and told him to pick them up, and that it seemed as if her friends were videotaping what was happening. He said the lady in the van had told her to stop acting “so hyper”. Ashton said that he was not aware that he had injured her.
At this point the Magistrate commented that he would not give his views on the situation as a father, and that he would “maintain the Magistrate in me today.”
After hearing that the student was sitting 10 subjects, the Magistrate said “I know you’re going to get all 10,” while noting that she was a GHS student.
‘Yes, please’ was the confident reply.
“Mrs Norma Keizer (former headmistress of the GHS), in her blessed memory, would not be pleased…It is the school where the best girls go…here you are in court now, with your ex-boyfriend, the conductor of a van…,” Burnett voiced.
Turning to Ashton he stated, “You conductors – you leave children alone you hear? Leave the children alone.”
He bonded Ashton for a year in the sum of $1,000. Upon breaching the bond, in absence of payment, Ashton will spend three months in jail.