Man ordered to repay teenager after smashing his bike into pieces
A 53-year-old man who smashed a teenager’s bike to pieces because he was provoked, has been ordered to repay the cost of the bike.
Defendant Austin McDonald of Sion Hill was brought to court on March 31, following a report that was made against him by the owner of a BMX bike valued at $250.
The 16-year-old boy told the police that his bike was damaged, without lawful excuse, by McDonald, on March 24.
He recalled that on this day he was at Sion Hill, where he lives, and he lent his bicycle to his 14-year-old friend so that the friend could make a trip to a nearby shop.
But when his friend came running back, he was empty handed and said McDonald had taken the bike and slammed it to the ground.
The 16-year-old set out to try and find McDonald. When he met him, the two got into an argument, during which persons brought the parts of the bicycle to the teen.
The matter was reported to the police and on March 30, McDonald was taken into custody.
“Officer he always interfere with me,” McDonald is said to have told the police, and later volunteered a statement admitting to the offence.
The defendant reiterated this to senior magistrate Rickie Burnett when he appeared before the Kingstown Magistrate’s court for the offence.
“I’m not doubting you that the complainants may have been making your life, if not hell, close to hell,” Burnett told the defendant.
He however advised him that in spite of being provoked he has to “exercise some discipline.”
“Yeah, that is true,” McDonald agreed.
“Not easy you know, I’m telling you,” Burnett stated, “…But it doesn’t mean because somebody provoked you, you can react.”
Compensation is the usual penalty for damage to property, but where there is provocation, the compensation is usually less.
While the senior magistrate was considering this, Prosecutor Corlene Samuel rose to clarify that the owner of the bike was not McDonald’s provocateur, but that it was the 14-year-old.
Following this, the magistrate reverted to a full compensation amount having to be paid to the teen.
“Because the man whose bike you damaged did nothing to you,” Burnett told the defendant.
McDonald agreed with this, but then countered that “ two ah them holding one head.”
This final effort by the defendant was promptly dismissed, the magistrate stating definitively, “Even though both of them are holding one head, you can’t punish A for B. You understand me? Can’t do that.
And you have to realize as well that they are, what both of us as adults may call – boys.”
“You were a boy at one time, and you had friends at one time, and both of you used to keep one mind,” Burnett added.
McDonald has until May 4 to pay $250 to the young man.