From the Courts
November 22, 2022
Man who ‘hears voices in his head’ tells court he accidentally assaulted woman

A 42 year old resident of New Montrose pleaded guilty in the Kingstown Magistrate Court on Monday, November 21 to a charge of assaulting Bernadette Gurley of New Montrose on August 4, causing her actual bodily harm.

Andre Bushay, who has had 10 previous convictions and was released from prison in March this year claimed to have “accidentally hit” the virtual complainant.

While he was explaining how the incident took place, Senior Magistrate, Rickie Burnett informed the defendant “If its not accidentally don’t tell me its accidentally”.

The defendant then admitted to the charge. He also asked the court to place him on a bond because he was “trying to change his life.”

The facts read by Corporal 817 Stapleton, are that at about 9:30 a.m on the day of the assault, the virtual complainant left home for church, and while walking along the New Montrose public road, she took out her phone and began recording her surroundings.

While recording, she heard the defendant saying “way you ah put camera pon me for, ah go put something in yuh mudda c*#t.”

The complainant then saw the defendant standing next to a car with a cutlass and a piece of bamboo in his hands.

She ignored the defendant and continued her way while still recording. The defendant then took the cutlass and flung it at the complainant and she took up the cutlass.

He then ran towards her, and began beating her about her body with the piece of bamboo. The complainant, becoming fearful began to run.

She reported the matter to the Criminal Investigations Department and medical injury forms were issued to her.

Investigations were carried out and the defendant was taken into custody and cautioned.

Bushay told the court that a voice speaks to him in his head and says to him, “I love you”.

The magistrate asked the man what does he say to voice, and he responded, “I say I love her too”. He further said that her [the voice’s] birthday was earlier this month and he communicates with her.

Burnett further asked the defendant if he has ever been to the Mental Health Center, and he responded, “yes”.

The Senior Magistrate told him, “the way you have communicated with the court this morning tells me that you are quite okay.” However, he said this can change, but the defendant told him, “ I will be okay.”

Although the defendant asked to be placed on a bond, the Senior Magistrate told the prosecutor “I don’t want him to feel as though he is put on a bond because he asked the court for that, although that was in my mind.”

He further said to the defendant “I am to place you on a bond not because you said to place you on a bond, but because in my view that is the correct sentence for the crime you have committed.”

Burnett bonded the defendant for one year in the sum of $1500. If he violates the bond Bushay will spend three months in prison.