‘Friend with benefits’ fined for hitting his teenaged ex-lover
A 29-year-old convicted for hitting his former 16-year-old lover, will have to pay money to the state by the end of May for this offence.
At the end of a trial last Friday, February 26, the court convicted Selwyn Harry of Rose Place for assault causing actual bodily harm.
The two parties, according to evidence given by the teen, were “friends with benefits”. The 16-year-old had ended this arrangement last November because she had a boyfriend.
She said Harry gave her items such as a boom box and phone before sexual intercourse, but he wanted them back after their arrangement ended. Only the phone was returned.
On the day in question, the teen was in the company of a male friend and they went to the West Kingstown community of Rose Place, which they referred to as the “Ghetto”.
Harry was standing by a pipe and when his former lover passed he approached and hit her on her face with his hand.
They got into a scuffle, and were parted by the teen’s male friend.
On her way to the police station, the teen was followed by the defendant who it is said made attempts but didn’t hit her with a stick, and who apparently fired a stone that hit her leg.
On Friday, the male friend who is on good terms with both parties gave evidence. He did not see the girl get hit as he was not looking. He however did see the parties scuffle and the defendant try to grab her. He said he told Harry to behave himself when he parted them. He said Harry did not throw a stone or have a stick, but did follow behind them a short while, cursing.
In his evidence, Harry denied everything, except that he had grabbed on to her, in what he said was a hug.
When asked by Prosecutor Sergeant Renwick Cato why he hadn’t mentioned this to the police, Harry said that the complainant had given a statement full of lies to the police and it got to him. He admitted they were friends who used to have sexual intercourse, but it took some questioning by the court for him to do so. It was insinuated that Harry was jealous because the teen was with male friends on that night.
At the end of the evidence, the magistrate determined that the case for the prosecution was to be believed.
“…the complainant in this matter though relatively young in age, in my view was very candid to the court. She gave her evidence as any mature young woman,” Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett determined while delivering his decision.
He noted that the matter turned on the credibility of the witnesses, and the defendant was not forthright about the simple issue of their relationship, casting some doubt with regard to his credibility.
The court also gave weight to the injuries the doctor recorded which were consistent with the girl’s story.
Ultimately Harry was convicted.
After the case was finished the magistrate addressed the teenage girl.
He had heard evidence of gambling, drinking and smoking on her part during the trial. He was also told that she is a mother to a four-year-old. She gave birth to this child at age 12, and she also has another child.
“…I am plain and clear, that’s who I am. The reason why I say I want to talk to you is that you have to take stock of your life based on what I’m hearing. You are going down the wrong path,” Burnett informed her.
“You’re a young girl, you need to stop,” he told her.
The teenager said she had stopped smoking, which Burnett said he was happy to hear. However, she said she still drank from time to time.
“…Having been taken advantage of by somebody, that has changed your life forever and now you are heading down a road to destruction. You have to step back a bit,” and consider whether you are doing the right thing, the magistrate advised.
The prosecution noted that he had been told that she frequents the “Ghetto” where there are different activities going on.
He noted that in relation to the incident, he believed that the defendant became jealous, but human nature needs to be controlled sometimes.
The issue of compensation to the teenager was raised, but she stated very quickly that she did not want this. She took longer to consider whether she believed Harry should go to prison, but said no.
Neither of the parties seem to want to be together again.
In the end the magistrate decided to impose a fine so that Harry may feel the crime in his pocket.
Burnett noted that he knows society is paying attention to how the court deals with matters of a domestic nature. “…But at the end of the day, the court has to look at every thing that transpired in the matter and give a sentence based on the facts of the parties that were in the matter before the court,” he said.
“…I’m not giving a sentence …[for] domestic violence in the broad context of domestic violence, I’m sentencing a party that is before me and the sentence is fact specific,” he added.
A fine of $1000 must be paid by May 28 or a prison term of six months will be have to be served.