McCoy guilty of assault, threats
ordered to pay $70,000 in fines
Office of the President (OP) Press Officer Kwame McCoy was this morning found guilty of committing an assault for gun-butting a man after a row over elections campaign posters last year.
McCoy was found guilty of assaulting and using threatening language on Clifton Stewart on October 25, 2011, for which he was fined a total of $70,000. Failing to pay the fine, McCoy would have to serve four weeks in jail in total.
“The prosecution has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and the court as a result finds the defendant guilty as charged,” Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry announced this morning at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, where McCoy was present.
In determining McCoy’s sentence, Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry weighed his knowing the consequences of his actions against the fact that he had no previous convictions, the possibility that he may have acted on impulse after the row between the two and the mild injuries Stewart sustained.
McCoy was fined $50,000 with an alternative of two weeks imprisonment for the assault, and $20,000 with an alternative of two weeks imprisonment for the use of threatening language.
The charge stemmed from an altercation between McCoy and Stewart on D‘Urban Street, Lodge, over the former’s removal of election campaign posters belonging to A Partnership for National Unity (APNU). Stewart said the argument escalated and McCoy threatened him and assaulted him.
McCoy had been called upon to lead a defence and proclaimed his innocence in an unsworn statement to the court, saying that he was being targeted for his affiliation with the governing party.
His lawyer, Senior Counsel Bernard De Santos later challenged the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses and the evidence advanced during the trial.
De Santos argued that the investigation of the charges were unacceptable. He charged that Stewart’s injuries were mild for a gun-butting assault, while also noting that at the time of the alleged act McCoy’s gun was lodged with the police, which was corroborated by a police witness who testified for the prosecution.
But Prosecutor Denise Griffith-Jacobis said that the case against McCoy has been made out beyond reasonable doubt with Stewart’s testimony, which was substantiated by a medical certificate. Griffith-Jacobis also pointed out that the defence had brought no one during the trial who disputed Stewart’s assault.
She argued that while the defence had challenged this evidence, it was not substantially discredited. Further, she noted that while McCoy’s gun had been lodged with the police at the time of the assault, it did not automatically mean that he could not have committed the assault with another firearm.