On Monday, Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin fined Kvaughn Thomas, 21, of Greenland, $500 after he pleaded guilty to common assault and admitted to hitting a man in the face during an altercation over a rented scooter.
Common assault carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and 12 months in prison, and Ms. Benjamin said she arrived at her sentence after considering mitigating factors: The criminal charge was Mr. Thomas’ first; he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity; and he expressed remorse.
“I am sorry for hitting [the complainant] in the face, and I could say that I wouldn’t make that mistake again,” Mr. Thomas told the court.
Before Ms. Benjamin handed down her sentence, Crown Counsel Lyn Daley read the allegations. On Dec. 16, 2019, she said, the complainant rented a scooter from Mr. Thomas at a price of $40 for the day.
After receiving the scooter, the complainant visited the Dr. Orlando Smith Hospital and returned home, where he parked the scooter in his driveway, secured the handlebars and turned on the alarm, the prosecutor read.
At about 6 a.m. the next morning, the complainant was woken by his brother, who informed him that the scooter was missing, Ms. Daley read.
The complainant then called Mr. Thomas and told him what had happened, and Mr. Thomas responded by demanding payment of $1,000, according to the prosecutor.
That day, the complainant went to the East End Police Station and filed a report on the al-leged scooter theft, she said.
On Dec. 26, Mr. Thomas showed up at the complainant’s workplace, where he “accosted” the complainant, again demanding he be paid $1,000, and hit the complainant on the left side of the face, Ms. Daley said.
According to the prosecutor, Mr. Thomas told the complainant, ‘“Don’t let me see your face in East End.’”
The complainant then made a report against Mr. Thomas at the East End Police Station, Ms. Daley said.
“At the time, there were no visible injuries to his face, but he complained of pain,” she added. The complainant was then interviewed, though he refused to seek medical treatment, according to the prosecutor.
‘Not the way’
While handing down her sentence on Monday, Ms. Benjamin told Mr. Thomas that he could have pursued several options for recouping his money that wouldn’t have landed him in Magistrates’ Court, such as a lawsuit.
“That was not the way to deal with the matter,” she said, adding, “You could have done a number of other things other than resort to physical violence.