When he took to the witness stand in the Magistrate’s Court today, Klenton Pickering hit back at allegations that he unlawfully broke an employee’s jaw.
While admitting that he punched the complainant Luis Callwood twice on the day in question, he told the court that he was merely defending himself from an ‘intoxicated’ and menacing Callwood.
He testified that he swung his fists after Callwood threatened to “f**k him up, and tried to attack him.
“Mr Callwood charged at me… He did say at one point ‘I going kill you,” the accused man told the court.
He continued: “I instinctively throw a fist… I didn’t throw it with any intentions of breaking anything. I didn’t throw it with any intentions of knocking him out. I just threw the fist.”
Pickering explained that things started to go awry earlier on the day in question when he and other managers decided to terminate Callwood’s employment.
The accused man testified that, while Callwood did good work, he was constantly tardy, ‘belligerent’, and he also drank on the job.
Pickering further stated that, when the decision was made to fire Callwood, he (Callwood) was nowhere to be found on the work site.
He added that Callwood approached him about 9pm and demanded to speak with him. Pickering, who was in the company of four women, said Callwood appeared under the influence of alcohol.
“His speech pattern raised and lowered and he started saying some real inappropriate things to the women,” Pickering said, adding that the women became uncomfortable.
Pickering stated that he told Callwood to return the following morning. “I said, Mr Callwood, this is not the right time to talk about anything…. I need you to leave the site please. I literally begged,” Pickering told the court, adding that he actually asked Callwood to leave many times.
He said he later tried to escort the man off the work site at the Tortola Pier Park, when Callwood started to threaten him. “He said, I coming back [later] tonight. And when I come back tonight, I going to f**k you up.”
Pickering further testified that he and Callwood then ended up in each other’s faces.
He shoved Callwood and walked away. That was when Callwood charged at him.
Pickering further told the court that he responded with a left hook, all the while still trying to diffuse the situation.
He said he punched Callwood, who he claimed tried to attack him a second time.
Pickering told the court that he didn’t know Callwood was seeking to get his pay for work done. He further noted: “I do not hand out pay.”
Pickering, who is being represented by attorney-at-law Tamara Foster, is scheduled to return to court.
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