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Man goes to jail after chopping man with speech impediment

Man goes to jail after chopping man with speech impediment
Left to Right: Gregory Harris & Kenroy Jack

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A man who became annoyed at another person with a speech impediment and then chopped this person in the head with a knife, has been sent to jail for a year and six months.

Gregory Harris was sentenced recently at the Serious Offences Court for an incident that happened on December 14, 2019 at Lower Bay Street Kingstown.

On the afternoon of this day, Rose Place resident Kenroy Jack was helping a woman set up her tent in the area, but while he was doing so Harris appeared on the scene.

Harris began arguing with the woman, who was Jack’s friend. Jack tried to motion to Harris to go away.

Apparently, Harris became angry because “no one was paying him any mind” and while cursing, the defendant walked up to Jack. He pulled a knife from his waist, raised it high, and chopped Jack on his forehead.

The two ended up scuffling on the ground after this happened, and Harris received a wound on his head because of this.

He then walked away and Jack was taken to the hospital.

Jack was present when Harris came to the court, and Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne had a direct visual of the consequences of the knife wound. A long line to the front of the head with multiple stitches could be observed.

The medical report, Browne indicated, read that it was a deep frontal wound to the forehead, approximately 10cm in length and 4cm wide. The cut went to the surface of the bone, and severed muscle tissue. It was also bleeding profusely.

“That’s a serious wound. Open. It is deep, down to the surface of the bone. And just a visual of the complainant in court gives an indication of the length of that…” the magistrate commented.

Revising the measurements of the wound, she added, “…Bleeding profusely. So a big gaping hole in the head.”

“Wow, that is crazy,” she stated.

Harris interjected with a mumbled statement, and the magistrate replied, “Nothing is ever meant to happen that usually gets to happen, but he could have died.”

She continued, “Because the amount of blood I am sure from a wound like that… he could have bled out.”

Harris also had antecedents. Browne told him she would also have to consider that on November 23, 2019, he was convicted for attacking another man. Harris objected, saying that he only pushed away this man’s crutches in that case, but the judge believed he beat the man with them. The defendant also claimed that this happened three years ago and not recently.

Nevertheless, he was informed that in the eyes of the court it is still a relevant past conviction.

After the weekend following his first appearance, Harris was sentenced for the unlawful and malicious wounding he inflicted on Jack.

The prosecutor, crown counsel Renée Simmons categorized the injury as a “rather serious” one, she noted that a weapon was used in the crime, and that the victim was particularly vulnerable due to the impediment which renders him unable to communicate effectively.

On the other hand, Harris pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, and admitted the offence to the police.

However, the chief magistrate would not agree with her that the defendant had expressed remorse.

Simmons recommended a jail sentence before the aggravating features outweighed the mitigating ones. She raised the possibility of suspending the sentence so that it would not take effect immediately, unless the defendant committed some breach in the future.

The chief magistrate listed similar aggravating features when delivering the sentence, noting the injury, circumstances of the victim, the fact that a knife was used, and she stated that there was wanton disregard for whoever was present.

“I don’t know why this ever needed to get there,” Browne stated.

Because he has previous convictions, the situation was made worse, as the magistrate felt that something was causing him to act in that way.

Eight months was subtracted for his guilty plea, which left the sentence at a term of one year and six months incarceration.

“We have to be more tolerant,” the magistrate told him.

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