Light sentence for shovel attack

GREAT BAY –The Court in First Instance sentenced Bryan Richardson on Thursday morning to a 1-month conditional prison sentence and 120 hours of community service for hitting a man called Morisseau on August 7 with a shovel on his head. The public prosecutor demanded a 4 month prison sentence but the court considered that demand “much too high.”

Richardson was at work on a site at the Cinnamon Cactus Drive when he got into an argument with the elderly victim about the way his was mixing cement,

While Richardson later claimed to the police that the victim had hit him with a shovel first and that he had hit him back, Morisseau told the court that Richardson had just hit him during the argument. The shovel hit him so hard that he fell to the ground and lost consciousness.

Richardson did not appear in court to tell his side of the story. His attorney Marlon Hart said that he had called several times but that he had been unable to make contact with his 46-year old client after the hurricane.

The judge read from the dossier that Richardson was willing to offer his apologies to his victim but that he was afraid to approach him. “I fear that will only make thing worse,” he told the police.

The public prosecutor said that it has been established as fact that Richardson had hit his victim with a shovel. “This was not self-defense; witnesses said that Richardson was the aggressor.”

The prosecutor demanded a 4-month prison sentence and 120 hours of community service. He asked the court to deny the claim from the victim for lack of substantiation.

Morisseau, who was in court, claimed that his medical costs amounted to $2,500. “That’s a lot for a few scratches,” the judge commented.

Attorney Marlon Hart said that his client had acted in panic to prevent that  Morisseau would hit him with another shovel. “My client was also hit in his face with a machete by a bystander while he was waiting for the police.”

Hart said that his client had walked away from the situation but that Mrs. Leonard had sent him back to his work. ‘He was under such duress that he hit out of self-defense. He felt cornered.”

Hart asked the court to drop all charges against his client or to acquit him, adding that Richardson is prepared to follow anger management training and to pay the victim’s medical costs.

The judge ruled that there is proof for an attempt to cause grievous bodily harm. “This ended well, but it was not self-defense; the defendant could have walked away.”

But the judge said that this was an atypical case whereby the defendant had knocked somebody against the ground and expressed his regrets afterwards. “The demand of 4 months is much too high; one month is enough,” she said.

The judge imposed 2 years of probation and 120 hours of community service but did not make payment of the medical costs a condition because the victim did not present any credible proof of his expenses.

Source: TODAY