Police have successfully applied to amend the charges against a 43-year-old man from Chaguanas accused of beating his wife and dousing her with gasoline after she did cook him dinner.
The man, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of the victim, was charged with assault, possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and attempting to unlawfully and maliciously inflict grievous bodily harm when he appeared in court earlier this month.
During a hearing before Magistrate Adrian Darmanie yesterday, a legal officer from the Central Division applied for the last charge, brought under Section 14 of the Offences Against the Person Act, to be amended to using an explosive or noxious substance with intent to do grievous bodily harm, under section 23 of the legislation.
While the original charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison upon conviction, the amended charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The proposed amendment was not opposed by attorney Bhimal Maharajh, who represented the man.
During the hearing, Maharajh sought to apply for bail for his client, who has been on remand since his first court appearance.
Darmanie adjourned the issue to next Monday, to give police prosecutors the opportunity to speak with the victim and determine if she is still living in fear.
According to the summary of evidence in the case, the incident occurred earlier this month at the couple’s home in Longdenville, which they share with their three young children.
Police officers responded to a report of domestic violence and reportedly saw the man beating the woman with a cutlass while holding a gas container.
Even as the police officers sought to intervene, the man still continued beating the woman and doused her with the gasoline.
The man, who is a machine operator, reportedly told police: “You can’t lock me up, I beat she cause she aint cook.”
The man was eventually arrested after a brief struggle with the officers.
Although police prosecutors did not object to bail during the man’s first court appearance, the court remanded him into custody over concerns about the victim’s safety.
Maharajh has provided an alternative address where his client can live away from the victim until the case is determined.