The Star (Jamaica)
Judge angered as complainants shun assault cases
Concerned about the number of female complainants requesting to have assault charges dropped against their aggressors, Senior Parish Judge Lori-Anne Cole-Montaque stressed that she will not dispose of the matters at their request, as it sends the wrong message to the public.
Her comments came on Wednesday after the girlfriend of Gerald Bowen, who is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, asked that the matter be discontinued as she wished not to proceed further. The woman is the complainant in the matter.
“Too many of these matters coming before the courts where serious allegations are put of a man thumping down woman and beat up woman all over the place. I am not treating light of it. As a judge, as a citizen, I am concerned when I see these things. I hear what you say Ma’am but this wrong that was alleged is so wrong that it is no longer you and him. But it is the State and him, the Queen and him and I am the queen,” the senior judge indicated.
It was reported that sometime in April, the complainant was walking along Norbrook Road in St Andrew when she saw Bowen. An argument ensued between them when Bowen hit the complainant on the side of her face causing pain and swelling. Bowen has pleaded not guilty.
“There must be accountability. I am not going to sit in a court every day and have these types of matters come and waste the time,” Cole-Montaque added. Bowen admitted to being before the courts on a previous occasion for a similar charge but said that the matter was disposed of.
“You are here now for thumping down a lady, allegedly. You see why we can’t let these things fly? This is how systems turn a mockery of. This might be somebody in need of help,” the senior jurist stated.
The prosecution indicated that the case file is complete and is ready to proceed to trial. Bowen, who is represented by Nicholett Hamilton, was made the subject of a fingerprint order and is expected to return to court on July 22.