The marks about her body and daily pain remain a memory of an “everlasting” beating by broomstick and cutlass that one pregnant 30-year-old received from her boyfriend last Friday.
The circumstances of this case were such that Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett noted that any mitigating features that may have been presented were “far, far, far” outweighed by those features that made it aggravating.
Therefore, Winfield Sam will spend the next four years in prison for the unlawful and malicious wounding of his girlfriend Clothilda Durrant of Redemption Sharpes.
In this case, when Durrant took the witness box on Tuesday, June 8, the magistrate could see the marks on her arm, which she confirmed to be from the incident.
She was present at the request of the court, which values the need to have the “virtual complainant” at sentencing.
“…It’s always important to hear from the victim, complainant in these domestic situations because sometimes the ‘facts’ may not capture everything,” the magistrate noted.
The ‘facts’ are what is prepared by the police to inform the court about what occurred during the incident.
“I can tell you that, having heard from you this morning, it’s a sad story, but I’m happy that I did provide an opportunity for you to say your piece,” Burnett also stated.
The ‘facts’ had informed the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court(KMC) that on June 4, in Lower Questelles, Durrant was home when Sam came home and met her there. Sam is said to have argued with Durrant, as he demanded sexual intercourse, but she refused because she was feeling unwell. Sam then accused her of being in a relationship with someone else, and began to assault her with his hands. He then took out a cutlass and used this, and then a broomstick. He hit her about her body, including on her thigh, arms, and back, intermittently throughout the day.
However, by Durrant’s comments in court, more shocking revelations were made.
The first thing the judicial officer asked the young woman was how she was, and she stated, “Not good.”
She was asked if this was still the case, and Durrant replied, with her hand by her head, that she can’t function properly seeing as how Sam had slapped her with his hands.
The beatings took place between sometime around 11am and minutes to eight in the night, she told Burnett.
That information was hard to swallow, but Durrant noted “I’m not lying, God is my witness.”
It apparently wasn’t the first beating she had endured, but on this occasion he locked her in, and was “everlasting beating me.”
The defendant had first appeared the day before, on Monday, June 7, when he pled guilty. During his comments to the court then, he had explained that he wanted to marry his girlfriend.
However, his girlfriend spoke about seeking action from the family court, and this is when it came to light that she was one month pregnant.
She confirmed that Sam knew this was the case when he was beating her.
It was apparently after she vomited blood that she was able to go to the hospital. However, even on the Saturday when she was attempting to get ready to go to the doctor, she was being hindered by Sam. She relayed that he was also attempting to take a photo of her in the nude.
The defendant, she said, told her not to tell the medical staff about what happened and also threatened her, but she said she was going to tell them the truth.
“Mr Sam I’m afraid that based on what I have heard, your behaviour…” the magistrate began.
“Supernatural,” Sam concluded.
“Supernatural?” the magistrate repeated.
The defendant told him that yes, this was the case, that the devil was controlling him, and “I just can’t believe that this here happened to me.”
“Please just have a little mercy on me your honour,” Sam also requested.
“Yes I will have mercy on you because I cannot apply the maximum sentence to you, that is mercy,” the magistrate told him.
Just before handing down his sentence, the judicial officer informed Sam that there was a Court of Appeal that he could go to if he wants to appeal the sentence.
He commented, “…what you did, still wondering if a human being can do this to a pregnant woman,” before handing down a sentence of four years incarceration.
“Go home and take care of the baby you hear” the magistrate told Durrant, who replied, “Yes please thank you very much.”