Shopkeeper on beating charges offered bail
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:A St James shopkeeper, who allegedly beat a man with an iron pipe and broke the man's hand during a confrontation over $500, was offered bail when he appeared before the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Twenty-eight-year-old Michael Chambers, of an Albion address, is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was offered bail in the sum of $150,000 with three sureties, and his case was set for mention on February 12.
The court was told that on January 10, Chambers asked the complainant to buy some items at a supermarket. Upon the complainant's return, it was discovered that the change was $500 short.
It is further alleged that some time later, the complainant was approached by Chambers, who was wielding an iron pipe, and another man, who wielded a piece of lumber. The two men proceeded to beat the complainant, who sustained a broken hand during the attack.
In making a bail application on Monday, Chambers' attorney, Henry McCurdy, disputed the prosecution's account of the charges, saying the defendant had not been involved in the complainant's injury.
"There was a fight, during which he (the complainant) was hurt. My client is adamant that he did not break the complainant's hand," said attorney McCurdy. Clerk of the court Paula-Sue Ferguson told presiding magistrate Carolyn Tie that, while the prosecution was not opposed to bail for Chambers, conditions should still be attached.
"The prosecution is not opposed to bail, only that the accused should stay away from the complainant," said Ferguson, who added that the medical certificate was outstanding from the case file.
"I will offer him bail in the sum of $150,000 with three sureties, and he is to have no contact with the complainant or any of the civilian witnesses," Tie told Chambers before setting the case for mention on February 12.