Woman who slapped student escapes jail time
This Monday, the court refused to endorse the actions of a 42-year-old mother who believed she was right in slapping a 16-year-old at the entrance to the female student’s school.
Hyacinth Williams of Redemption Sharpes, barely escaped jailtime at the Serious Offences Court, and in the end, it was only the serious sickness of her five-year-old that dissuaded the court from handing down a “short, sharp shock”.
Williams had said that she had not gone to the Bishop’s College Kingstown on the day in question with the intention of slapping the Green Hill resident.
She firmly told Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias, that she was “guilty with a cause,” in response to a charge of causing assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Williams said she went to the school on February 28, and stood up outside waiting, having given the complainant a message to give to another student.
The mother said this message was a warning to another student who had apparently threatened to slap up her child.
“(The complainant) then start arguing up in my face, and telling me “why the f**k I don’t give (the student who allegedly threatened to slap her daughter) the message myself,” the mother recalled.
Williams disclosed that the reason that she did not give the message herself was that she did not know the other student, or she would have given them the message directly.
“She (the complainant) was there and she was arguing, and she pointed up her hand and she hit me in my face, and I slap her,” Williams summarized abruptly.
The matter was reported to police and on April 12, Williams was arrested.
While the 16-year-old took the witness stand, she said that she felt bad about the incident, and that the defendant had gone around saying things, like “how she done slap me off.” The student confirmed that she was in uniform when the incident happened.
Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche rose to say that it is beyond him how any parent, rather than “resolving the matter amicably,” had instead gone to the school and assaulted the student.
“That baffles me,” Delplesche stated, continuing, “Why would a parent do that?” He stressed that this would send the wrong message.
The Chief Magistrate agreed with him, but said she could understand a parent wanting to safeguard her child, but the incident could have been avoided. She advised Williams that she should have gone to the principal.
“If every parent did what she did, there would be anarchy, and “We will be the wild wild west!” the prosecution stated before requesting that a message be sent that her actions are not tolerated.
The magistrate said that she would incarcerate the defendant for three nights before sentencing, as the matter was very technical.
Williams then informed that her five-year-old was very sick, and that the father of the child drinks a lot.
The magistrate told her that her actions would more than likely call for a period of imprisonment, and asked her what would be done if she was sent to jail. She stood down the matter again for the documents to be verified.
Over the break, with attorney Grant Connell taking up representation for the mother, the documents confirming the five-year-old sickness were verified.
The chief magistrate handed down a jail sentence of six months, which would be suspended for six months. Compensation to the tune of $500 was also ordered, to be paid by April 30, or a three-month jail sentence will have to be served.