A Dominican Republic man was fined $750 for assaulting a family member during a party at a popular restaurant on Virgin Gorda on February 24 last year.
Noe Martinez pleaded guilty to common assault when he appeared before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo last Thursday.
The 28-year-old construction worker has to pay the fine by March 31 or spend two months at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.
What the court heard happened
The court heard that about 7:30 pm on the day in question, the complainant – a male family relative of the now-convicted man – along with a friend went to a popular restaurant to buy food.
After placing their orders, the pair began socializing with persons at the restaurant who were having a party at the venue.
The court heard that while there, the complainant felt someone hold his neck from behind and knocked him to the floor.
Martinez reportedly proceeded to straddle the complainant while he was down and held unto his neck, and said to him “you c*** sucker, I am sick of you”.
Martinez then fisted the complainant in the left eye, the court heard. Partygoers at the venue eventually intervened.
Following the incident, the complainant reported the matter to the police.
Photos were taken of his injuries, and the complainant was taken to receive medical attention. Law enforcers then conducted a search for Martinez but without success. However, on March 6, he turned himself in and admitted to assaulting his family member.
He was later arrested and charged.
Impose a non-custodial sentence
His attorney Mary-Lou Creque told the court the incident stemmed from a family feud.
She urged the court to impose a non-custodial sentence on her client because he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and he cooperated with police.
In response, Magistrate Baptiste-DaBreo said the offender’s no previous convictions, his early guilty plea and the fact that no serious aggravating factors were raised all led her to conclude that imprisonment was not warranted.
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