Source Today Newspaper
GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance sentenced 17-year old Joshua James H. to 6 months of youth detention for a stabbing that took place during the first jump up on March 19. Of the sentence the time the boy spent in pretrial detention at the Miss Lalie center – 73 days – is unconditional; the rest is suspended. He was released from the center yesterday afternoon.
The court set two conditions: the boy has to accept psychological supervision and he had to subject himself to drug tests. The message is that he has to stay away from smoking marijuana. If a test proves otherwise he will be sent to jail. He also has to perform 50 hours of community service, stemming from a previous conviction. The boy turns 18 on September 15.
The police report issued about the incident noted that the 14-year old victim had been pushed from behind and that an unknown attacker had stabbed him with a sharp object. Due to the serious injuries he sustained he could not attend school for four months and he is currently sill up for more surgery.
However, the victim mom told this newspaper that her son and Joshua H. used to be friends.
In court, the young defendant freely admitted that he had stabbed the victim, but it did not happen just like that. The boy said that he had been harassed and pushed during the jump up and that he had walked away, but that the victim and four if his friends had followed him. When he was stuck between two cars and the group came towards him, he had used a knife to stab his attacker. The incident happened around 12.30 a.m. opposite Kooyman, but the boy said that troubles had already begun when the jump up was near the KFC in Cole Bay.
It was unnecessary to hit him; I was no thinking, I was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana,” the defendant said “It did not have to happen this way.”
The public prosecutor asked the court to acquit the boy of causing grievous bodily harm, though she considered an attempt to cause grievous bodily harm proven.
“This happened during the first jump up,” the prosecutor said. “There were many people around. If you see something like this happen it makes you feel unsafe. The defendant had the chance to walk away, but his reaction to a push from behind was disproportional. First he tries to get away, then he is pursued and then he uses the knife.”
Attorney Geert Hatzmann told the court that his client’s mother had filed a complaint for threats made by the victim’s mother and a couple of her friends. They came to her house a couple of days after the incident saying that they would work her son over with a knife.
“If you are continuously intimidated and threatened should you then stay home?” Hatzmann wondered. “My client has to stay away from marijuana and it is of course not good that he went on the road with a knife. But among the other party there have been talks about liquidating my client; that is the main reason why he is still in custody at the Miss Lalie Center.”
Hatzmann also pointed out that his client’s options to walk away from the situation were limited. “In a large crowd it is not that easy to get away quickly.”
Hatzmann said that his client found himself in a situation that justifies self-defense. “It is not a classical example, but he had nowhere to go.”
The attorney asked the court to dismiss the prosecution of his client. “It is justified what he did. He is a victim of the circumstances.”
The judge did not want to go that far. He considered the most serious charge – causing grievous bodily harm – proven and acknowledged that, based on video footage, there was a self-defense situation, but that the defendant’s reaction to the oncoming violence was disproportional.
The young man told the court that he is willing to cooperate with psychological treatment, that he will stay away from marijuana and that he will perform the 50 hours of community service.