Thu | Aug 18, 2022

More restorative justice for men in Corinaldi Avenue Primary fight video

Published:Wednesday | June 22, 2022 | 12:05 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

THE SAGA surrounding the two men who were caught on video fighting at the St James-based Corinaldi Avenue Primary School on April 11 seems nowhere near ready to end, as they are to continue attending restorative justice sessions before their next court date on July 28.

Euton Fearon and Keeno Tatham, who have cross cases against each other on assault charges, were given the new court date and had their bails extended when they made their latest appearance before the St James Parish Court on Monday.

This marks the third time that the two men have been instructed to attend further restorative justice sessions to mediate their differences since they initially agreed to do so on April 27. The order was last extended on May 4.

The ongoing court case centres on the video depicting the April 11 incident, where Tatham was shown assaulting Fearon, a security guard at Corinaldi Avenue Primary School, in full view of the students. Tatham was dressed in a Transport Authority uniform in the recording, which showed him kicking Fearon after the latter fell to the ground.

It was reported at the time that Tatham – the stepfather of a student at Corinaldi Avenue Primary – came to the school and told Fearon that he had received a report that his child was missing.

PLEAD GUILTY

Prior to the order for restorative justice, which was issued by Presiding Parish Judge Sasha Ashley when the case was first heard on April 27, Fearon had pleaded guilty with explanation to assault occasioning bodily harm. At that time, the outlined allegations against him stated that he had used a piece of board to hit Tatham on his left arm during the April 11 fight, after refusing to allow him on to the school compound.

Those allegations run counter to Fearon’s claims about the incident, which he made during a media interview shortly after the fight took place. He said then that he had told Tatham, in response to the other man’s queries, that his child was playing in the school yard and was not missing.

At the time, Fearon alleged that Tatham disarmed him of his baton and slapped him in the face, then pushed him to the ground and kicked him repeatedly.

Classes were cancelled at the school the day after the incident, and the Transport Authority announced that it would be carrying out its own internal investigation into the incident. The Ministry of Education condemned the attack on the security guard, while other schools’ administrators called for improved security at educational institutions.

The incident also brought the issue of security measures for school staff and students further into the spotlight, with the problem having been a long-standing one for years and being amplified earlier this year with several violent incidents among students. One of those was the March 21 stabbing and subsequent death of William Knibb Memorial High School student Khamal Hall in Trelawny, whose killing was reportedly sparked by a dispute over a guard ring.

christopher.thomas@gleanerjm.com