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Man jailed for breaching order to stay away from his wife

Man jailed for breaching order to stay away from his wife
Dexter Quammie

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A 49-YEAR-old man has been found guilty of breaching a court order to stay no less than 50ft away from his wife, and that in order to do so he trespassed onto his wife’s property in the dead of night.

For these crimes Dexter Quammie was ordered to serve one year and six months in prison on one count, and nine months on the other count, to run concurrently.

Nonetheless, his legal troubles are not over, as he is charged with wounding with intent his wife, Roshel Quammie of Rillan Hill, who he allegedly stabbed about the body with a knife on November 25, 2020.

The offences that he was convicted for last Wednesday, June 16, occurred on December 13, 2020 – a few weeks after the alleged wounding. Further, the incidents happened less than a week after the President of the Family Court issued a protection order on December 9, 2020.

The wife gave evidence during the trial, wherein she revealed that, at minutes to one in the morning, she looked through a window of her Rillan Hill property and saw her husband in a crouched position in the porch. She called the police, and when they arrived, the police found the husband at the top of the yard.

The defendant’s explanation was that he had been that he was invited by his wife to give an apology to her parents.

The 49-year-old construction worker, mitigated for himself before sentencing, as he did not have a lawyer.

“..Most of all I did my best to live a life mostly to please everyone, and most of all I was living a Christian life,” he commented on Thursday, June 17 at the Serious Offences Court(SOC).

He also said that he wouldn’t say that what he did was right. He asked the court to consider that he is sorry for what happened, and that if he could make it right, he would.

It was established that of his three children, one is still a minor.

Prosecutor, Sergeant Renrick Cato, also weighed in on the discussion. He noted that it’s sad when a wife has to take her husband to the Family Court to get a protection order, “…and when it is granted by the court; it says a lot.”

The defendant had knowledge that he should not be 50 feet away from his wife, the prosecutor said, “…he had knowledge that the occupants of that house is the wife, daughters, and the male figure is the father of the wife.”

“…The court will ask the question, what was the intention of the defendant when he went to the home of the wife at minutes to one in the morning?”

Further, when the police arrived, he was still on the scene, around 25 feet away from the house.

As simple as criminal trespass is, when one considers the maximum penalty allowed for the offence, it can sometimes be very, very frightening, Cato noted.

“…The breach of a court order, although it carries a maximum penalty of two years, in my view your honour, it is a serious, serious offence. You have no respect whatsoever, no regard whatsoever for an order that is made by a court,” the prosecutor said.

Therefore, he recommended that the court sends a strong message to persons who are committing these types of offences or have the intention to do such, “especially when it’s husband and wife.”

In sentencing the offender, Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne began, “This is a most unfortunate incident, and it really gives me no pleasure to adjudicate over matters of this nature.” “As stated by you, you were trying to live a Christian life, and I am certain you know then, the position of the man in the household as protector, provider and priest of the house,” she told the defendant. “So when a member of that family, and particularly the wife, seeks protection and refuge and help from a court and not the usual turning to prayer, it’s an indication that there is serious need for concern.”

In her considerations, the magistrate also noted the wife’s demeanour when she was giving evidence. What was present occasionally, “…was the fear that was very visible, and that’s unfortunate.”

There was a break in her testimony when attempting to recount the incident, the court observed, and also that she was trembling.

“This was a really frightening experience… and she said categorically, this was you, I know my husband, I recognise him, I have been intimate with him for four years, it was clear to me, I know him,” Browne revised.

It was also noted that the couple had corresponded over the telephone, therefore, “if there were serious intention to make up, make right, apologise, that could have been pursued, and not in the manner in which you did. And therefore, the court is left with no choice but to let persons know breaching a court order is not acceptable,” the magistrate said.

In calculation of the sentence, the court began at a starting point of 50% of the maximum for breach of the court order, or one year of incarceration.

Based on the magnitude of the aggravating factors, Browne added six months to the starting point.

Consequently, for breach of the court order, the court has ordered one year and six months imprisonment, and for criminal trespass, nine months. The defendant had spent 184 days on remand at that point, and this was taken into account.

The court order remains in effect for three years.