St Vincent journalist compensated for assault
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC):
A court has ordered gardener, Danroy Small, to pay EC$500 (EC$1=US$0.37 in compensation to journalist, Kenton X. Chance after he was found guilty of assaulting the journalist.
Small struck Chance, the executive editor of iWitness News and the correspondent for the Barbados-based Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) in the face with a plastic bag containing clothing on December 18, 2017.
Chance and other journalists were at the time taking photos outside the Kingstown Magistrate Court of police putting several accused persons into a pick-up truck for transportation to prison.
Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett also bonded Small for one year. If he breaks the bond, he would have to pay the court EC$1,500 forthwith or spend three months in jail.
Small, who has until March 29 to pay the EC$500 fine or spend two months in jail.
Chance told the court that he was standing about six to eight feet from the side of the police pickup truck when Small threw the bag, causing his camera to strike him the face. Two police officers who witnessed the incident, along with the investigator officer also testified on behalf of the prosecution.
Small, who was not represented by a lawyer, did not call any witnesses in his defence. But in his evidence, denied hitting Chance with the bag.
But the senior magistrate said that he believed the complainant and the witnesses on behalf of the Crown.
Chance, who said he would be donating the funds to a charity, told the court that he pursued the matter because he and his colleagues are “often on the receiving end of threats … outside the court.
“Even police officers are threatened outside the court,” Chance told the court, adding that while it was a bag containing clothing that was thrown at him, it could have been something more serious and dangerous.
The prosecutor told the court that Small’s record suggests that he is a violent man and no amount of fine or term of imprisonment would deter him from his criminal ways.
The court heard that Small 37, had 24 previous convictions.