A 52-year-old man from Siparia will have to spend the rest of the year in prison as he awaits his sentence for attacking a mechanic with a brushcutter during an argument in 2006.
Early last month, High Court Judge Hayden St Clair-Douglas found Allan Luke guilty of maliciously wounding Rodney “Yam” Robinson and maliciously damaging Robinson’s vehicle after a judge-alone trial and remanded him into custody pending sentencing.
When Justice St Clair-Douglas reserved his decision on sentence after hearing a mitigation plea during a virtual hearing yesterday, Luke’s lawyer Susan Charles-Sylvester sought to apply for bail to allow her client to “put his affairs in order.”
Justice St Clair-Douglas refused the request as he noted that bail pending sentencing is only granted in exceptional circumstances that did not apply to Luke’s case.
According to the evidence in the case, the incident occurred around 7.15 am on August 30, 2006, while Luke was cutting grass at the side of Coora Road in Siparia and Robinson was using the route to drop his son home.
Robinson claimed that he stopped his Nissan B14 near Luke and warned him that he was pitching grass and stones onto vehicles driving along the road.
Robinson claimed that while his vehicle was not struck by the debris, he used obscene language towards Luke.
He admitted that he got out of his car and threw two stones at Luke but claimed that he missed.
Robinson claimed that when he got into his car to drive away, Luke attacked him with the brushcutter.
He claimed that the brush cutter broke his driver-side window and damaged parts of the door causing $1,150 in damage. He also alleged that he sustained a 15 cm cut on his left arm, which required 19 stitches.
Luke testified and claimed that Robinson was the aggressor and threatened him several times before throwing the stones.
Luke claimed that he approached Robinson’s car and the brushcutter accidentally struck the window as Robinson sought to hastily open the door to confront him.
In her submissions, Charles-Sylvester called for a lenient sentence for Luke.
She noted that while Luke was employed as a labourer with the Ministry of Works and Transport at the time of the incident, he is now employed as a driver with the Ministry of Culture. She also claimed that Luke drives a taxi part-time.
In her submissions, prosecutor Indira Chinebas disagreed that Luke should be given a non-custodial sentence.
She said that despite his claims of remorse, he denied all wrongdoing until he was recently convicted by Justice St Clair-Douglas.
While he did not pronounce a sentence during the hearing, Justice St Clair-Douglas did indicate that he agreed with the State that a prison term should be imposed.
However, he said he would strongly consider the fact that Luke offered to pay Robinson compensation.
St Clair-Douglas noted that while Robinson had agreed to accept $20,000 in compensation, he felt that the figure was too high based on the circumstances and injuries sustained.
He suggested that $15,000 would be more appropriate.
Luke is expected to be sentenced on January 5.