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August 29, 2014
Magistrate tells young men – Be more masculine, not so girliy, girly

Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias on Monday described as “very concerning” the language and behaviour of two young men who appeared before her, with one of the youngsters charged with wounding the other.

Eighteen-year-old Redemption Sharpes resident Jaleel Douglas narrowly avoided conviction and a criminal record, when Browne-Matthias found him not guilty of stabbing his one-time friend {{more}}Sosique Bowens.

The court heard in evidence given by Bowens, that on June 18, this year, he was at the bus stop outside of the Super J supermarket at Stoney Ground with his girlfriend, when Douglas approached him, calling him a “p****hole”.

“I replied to him, how I come a p****hole, and I stood up and he came up in my face. He ‘chuck’ me, and I shove him back and that’s when he took out a knife and fired stabs at me.”

Bowens told the court that he received the first cut to his right shoulder, and as he wrestled with the accused across the street in the vicinity of the national netball centre, he received another stab wound to the left side of his face.

According to Bowens, when his attacker fled the scene, he went to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital seeking medical attention, and then he reported the matter to the police the following day.

Lawyer Israel Bruce, appearing on behalf of the defendant, asked Bowens if remembered previous encounters with his client, to which the virtual complainant responded that he vaguely did.

Bruce reminded Bowens that during one encounter, Douglas approached Bowens and a female companion at a bar in Kingstown, and when he greeted Bowens, the virtual complainant did not acknowledge him at first, but later threatened to “embarrass” the defendant.

In another encounter, Bruce reminded Bowens that Douglas was in another bar, when Bowens arrived with a female student wearing the uniform of the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, in tow.

“You took her upstairs, and when you all came back downstairs she appeared upset,” Bruce reminded.

“Then you boasted to the guys there that you just had sex with her, and my client told you that you are a comedy and what you are doing is wrong. He told you that he lost all respect for you, and that is when you told him if he said that to you again you would slap him off and make him call you ‘big daddy’. Then you told him he was your bi***.”

Bowens said that the young lady in question was a student of the Girls’ High School and not Thomas Saunders Secondary, and that the defendant had called him a “punk”.

Bruce put it to the virtual complainant that on the day in question, he was the aggressor in the altercation, and that his client had taken a knife from his knapsack to defend himself, only after Bowens attacked him with two large stones.

Bruce further put it to Bowens that the laceration to his face came as a result of Bowens falling and hitting his face during the fight; all of which Bowens denied.
Sosique Bowens (right) accused

Jaleel Douglas of stabbing hin in the left side of his face and on his

right shoulder on June 18, 2014.

Testifying on behalf of Bowens, Venissa Williams testified that on June 18, she was with the virtual complainant, whom she identified as her boyfriend, when Douglas approached Bowens and told him that he had a knife.


She said that both young men squared up at each other, and that Bowens grabbed two stones, while Douglas produced his knife.

Williams said that the former friends wrestled until they got to the netball complex, and when Bowens returned, he was bleeding from his shoulder and on the left side of his face.

The young woman admitted to the defence counsel that she did not see how Bowens sustained the injuries.

Also testifying in the case was Constable 593 Karla Timm, who gave evidence that she took

the report from Bowens on June 19, and then arrested the defendant on July 5.

She testified that during the course of her investigations, a white handle knife was confiscated.

In his defence, Douglas told the court that on the day in question, he had gone fishing earlier, and then later passed at Super J Supermarket to purchase some items for a friend.

“When I was leaving the supermarket, Sosique called me a p**** hole and I said I am his b****.

“I called him a b***erman.”

Douglas said that it was at that point Bowens approached him and chest bumped him as he walked away, to which he responded by shoving Bowens.

“He picked up two big stones and he hit me with one on my elbow, that is when I pulled out my knife and stabbed him on his right shoulder.

Douglas said that he does not recall cutting Bowens in his face, but said that the reason he cut his ex friend was in an effort to get him to drop the other stone.

During cross-examination by prosecutor Assistant Superintendant of Police Glenford Gregg, Douglas denied being jealous of Bowens and his experiences with girls; neither did he have Bowens in his mind.

He said that he was not pleased with Bowens’ behaviour, but that would not be a reason to cause injury to his one time friend, and that his actions on the day were in self defence.

Following closing arguments, Magistrate Browne-Matthias returned a not guilty verdict based on the evidence given by Bowens and Williams.

The magistrate said the situation was a case of young men behaving stupidly, and cautioned both of them to act more maturely.

“This case is concerning for a number of reasons,” Browne-Matthias said as she concluded the case.

“Both of you were friends, and I am seeing young men who should be curbing their tempers.

“You young men should be more masculine and not so girly, girly and find some hard work to do.

“I am seeing bad habits cultivating. Bad habits create bigger problems,” Browne-Matthias said.(JJ)