From the Courts
September 1, 2017
Youth jailed for wounding Peace Corps volunteer

A young man of Diamond has been sentenced to three months in prison for unlawfully and maliciously wounding a Peace Corps volunteer.

On Wednesday, August 2, Crystal Sherriff was walking along the Diamond public road at about 5:30 p.m. in the company of Claude Sam. On reaching the vicinity of Garvin Butler’s shop, she felt something pass over her head. When she turned around, she saw Martin Springer armed with a piece of steel, which he then swung at her head. When Sherriff raised her hand to protect her head, she was struck on her left elbow causing an injury.

As Springer attempted to swing another time, Sam stepped in, preventing Springer from striking again. The matter was reported to the Colonarie Police Station and upon investigation, Springer was arrested and charged with wounding and failure to give a statement.

When he first appeared in court, Springer was sent to the Mental Health centre for a psychiatric evaluation. The psychiatrist found no sign of psychiatric illness, but stated Springer has mild mental retardation, with impulsive, acting out behaviour.

Springer’s mother told the court her son dropped out of school in Form 4 in 2015 and it seems as though he is “tripping off.” She said since that time, he has been making trouble and she cannot go with him.

This is the third consecutive year that Springer has appeared before magistrate Burnett. In 2015, he was ordered to do community service, while in 2016 he was ordered to compensate someone for damage to property.

Prosecutor Delroy Tittle asked for a custodial sentence this time, asking the court to pay attention to the fact that Sherriff is a Peace Corps volunteer from the United States and Springer’s mother clearly told the court she cannot go with him.

While handing down his sentence, magistrate Burnett told Martin that the court would have to step in, seeing his mother cannot go with him and neither the community work nor having to compensate another person helped. Burnett also stated that, based on the doctor’s findings, it is likely Martin will return to court. He was sentenced to three months in prison.

Sherriff told the court she was shaken at the time of the injury, but outside of that, St Vincent has been good to her. She arrived in St Vincent in July, 2017.(CJ)