Charles Ollivirre, accused of assaulting and threatening his common-law wife, has been ordered to attend counselling sessions to learn to manage his anger and resolve conflicts by non-violent means.
Magistrate Dellon Bess yesterday told Ollivirre that he was being spared having to go through a trial and possibly being imprisoned since his wife said she did not want to proceed with the criminal complaint against him.
“I just want to drop the charges against him and please warn him about the behaviour,” Joan Melville said when given a chance to speak.
The charges against Ollivirre, of 89 Leopold Street, Georgetown were that on June 22, at Kaneville, East Bank Demerara, he unlawfully assaulted and used threatening language to Melville. He denied both.
The magistrate told both parties that he would do more than warn and dismiss the charges.
Magistrate Bess asked Ollivirre whether he knew the penalty for hitting a woman, to which he responded in the negative. He then explained to Ollivirre that such a charge attracts a period of imprisonment of six months if he were found guilty.
The magistrate also sternly warned the defendant that if he had in fact hit the woman, he should desist from doing so or threatening or committing any other offences against her.
The magistrate noted that the court takes a serious view of such offences, more so in light of the surge in domestic-violence related crimes in society today.
For this reason, the magistrate said that the court would not be mindful to use its discretion and dismiss the matters but instead ordered Ollivirre to attend three mandatory sessions of anger management and conflict resolution counselling.
Ollivirre was ordered to cooperate with the officer from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security to whom he is assigned, failing which he would be placed again before the court.
He was ordered to make his first visit to the Ministry at 9am today.
Magistrate Bess informed the defendant that the court will be given periodic updates on the progress of his sessions and firmly explained to him that if he refuses to attend or a negative report is relayed, he can be placed in custody and kept there until a trial into the matters have ended.
To this, Ollivirre said he clearly understood the court’s orders.
“In the meantime, if you lay a finger on this woman, or threaten her in any way or the like, you will also be placed in jail and kept there until the matter is determined,” the magistrate further informed him.
This time, the magistrate explained to him, would be separate from that he would have to spend in prison if he were found guilty of the charges levelled against him.
Attorney George Thomas, who entered an appearance for the defendant, told the court that the man has no previous convictions or pending matters. Ollivirre was eventually placed on self-bail and ordered to return to court on October 9 for the presentation of a progress report on his counselling sessions and further orders from the court.
Additionally, in the interim he was bonded to keep the peace.