Last year on Valentine’s Day, Seanna Jack went grocery shopping with Shannon John, the father of her child, later stopping for drinks at Sabrina’s Bar.
Also at the bar was Danisha Penn, a woman Ms. Jack describes as her “god-sister” who at the time of the incident was in a relationship with Mr. John.
The visit ended with an altercation that caused police to charge Ms. Jack with assault occasioning bodily harm for allegedly punching Ms. Penn in the face.
During Ms. Jack’s trial on Monday before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste DaBreo, Crown Counsel Kael London alleged that Ms. Jack struck Ms. Penn out of anger, a characterisation that Ms. Jack denied.
Instead, Ms. Jack claimed, she moved to break up a squabble between Ms. Penn and Mr. John, and ended up striking Ms. Penn only after being shoved in the chest.
During her testimony, Ms. Jack recounted the events that led up to the fight after Mr. John allegedly refused Ms. Penn’s request to put Ms. Penn’s drinks on his tab.
At a table outside the bar, Ms. Jack alleged, she asked Mr. John why he wouldn’t pay for Ms. Penn’s drinks, to which Mr. John responded, “‘I’m not buying no broke-ass bitches no drink.’”
Hearing this, Ms. Penn allegedly threw a beer bottle at Mr. John, who ducked, so that the bottle missed and hit Ms. Jack’s ankle, according to the accused. Ms. Penn and Mr. John then began to fight, Ms. Jack said, explaining that she tried to separate them but was met with aggression by Ms. Penn, who shoved her in the chest.
“I swung my right hand and punched her in the face,” Ms. Jack said, adding that the hit knocked Ms. Penn to the ground. Then Ms. Jack took her drink over to Mr. John and told him they should leave before someone called the police, she recalled.
Around the time of the incident, Ms. Jack admitted, she and Ms. Penn had experienced a falling out, though she maintained that they remained amicable whenever they saw each other.
And while Ms. Jack and Mr. John remained friendly even after Ms. Penn admitted to her that she and Mr. John were together, Ms. Jack frequently saw the couple fight, she alleged in court.
Mr. London questioned the accuracy of Ms. Jack’s story, and suggested that she intervened in the squabble between Mr. John and Ms. Penn with the intention of striking her.
Mr. London asked Ms. Jack how she felt when Ms. Penn asked Mr. John to put her drinks on his tab.
“Mad,” Ms. Jack responded.
“You were not going to part the fight: … You were going to hit her in the face,” Mr. London then alleged.
“I disagree,” Ms. Jack said.
Position at table
Mr. London also called into question the position in which Ms. Jack claimed to have been sitting at the table.
“I put it to you that it could not have hit your feet because your feet were already under the table,” Mr. London said of the bottle.
Ms. Jack responded, “I disagree.” Mr. London also expressed doubt that Ms. Penn would have fallen to the ground if her friends had been trying to restrain her from fighting with Mr. John, as Ms. Jack had previously alleged.
“I put it to you … if her friends were holding her, she would not have fallen to the ground,” Mr. London said.
“No, sir,” Ms. Jack responded. Mr. London also alleged that Ms. Jack kicked Ms. Penn while she was on the ground, which Ms. Jack denied, saying that she and Mr. John left after Ms. Penn fell.
Ms. Jack’s trial for the charge of assault occasioning bodily harm was scheduled to resume on Nov. 11.
Ms. Jack is represented by defence attorney Andrew Morrison.