From the Courts
May 22, 2009
Williams fined for wounding his brother-in-law

When his brother-in-law made numerous threats to his family, ransacked his house and set the curtains on fire, Rawlston Williams took the law into his own hands and inflicted several chops to his brother-in-law.{{more}}

For his actions, Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle fined Rawlston Williams $4,000 to be paid in full by July 31 or he will spend four years in jail.

“I really don’t know how I would have reacted if someone made threats to my family,” Justice Bruce-Lyle said.

Williams was at the time answering a charge of wounding with intent at the High Court on Tuesday of this week. He however, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of wounding.

The facts read out in court indicated that on January 20, 2005, the virtual complainant, Denville Smith, was walking along the Georgetown public road when Williams was seen walking in the opposite direction. Williams walked straight past him and then turned back and said to Smith, “You (expletive), is me and you one.” It is then that Williams administered the chops to Smith. He was rushed to the hospital where he spent one month.

Mitigating on his client’s behalf, lawyer Ronald Marks said that the incident resulted from a long history of bad blood between both men. Marks indicated that Smith had made threats to Williams and his young children after breaking into their house. The lawyer added that windows were broken, and a circuit breaker and a gas cylinder were taken from the house. On another occasion, Marks said that someone saw Smith running from Williams’ house after the curtains had been set afire.

On the day in question, Marks said Williams was doing some work on a vehicle when he received a telephone call stating that Smith was vandalizing his house. Williams then went to look for the Smith but did not see him. A report was subsequently made to the police.

Williams, however, met Smith later that day. “Your Lordship, Smith was pointing a hammer in my client’s face and kept on taunting him. This law-abiding citizen was frustrated and I know he is wrong for taking the law into his hands, but he was extremely provoked,” Marks noted. The young lawyer said that threats to one’s family could bring out the beast in someone. He added that Williams did not waste the court’s time since he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Justice Bruce-Lyle stated that he believed Marks’ mitigation and that he did not think a custodial sentence was warranted for Williams’ actions.(KW)