Vernon Paddy, the Guyanese man who had pleaded guilty to a vicious attack on his wife with a 14-inch hammer in May of last year, was sentenced to eight years in prison by Justice Indra Hariprashad-Charles in a British Virgin Island (BVI) court.
According to the BVI Platinum News, Paddy, 47, was imprisoned for the offence of causing grievous bodily harm. Additionally, he was ordered to compensate the complainant US$5161. Failure to do so within six months, will result in him serving an additional 12 months in prison.
The report said that Paddy, who has been living in the BVI for 13 years, pleaded guilty to the offence which stemmed from an attack on his wife Deslyn Paddy at their home in West End.
During mitigation prior to the sentencing, Paddy´s lawyer, Patrick Thompson told the court that he is in no way turning a blind eye to the fact that the offence is a serious one; however, the injuries sustained by the complainant were serious, but not grave.
He pointed out that no medical evidence was brought to the court to show that she suffered any fractures to her skull or any part of her head from the blows inflicted by his client. The lawyer made this point against the backdrop that a hammer is a heavy tool, but no such evidence was brought to the court.
Thompson asked the court to make the starting point for the sentence in the region of 4 to 6 years imprisonment, after the discount is applied for the guilty plea. The offence carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, the report said.
During her submission, prosecutor Jude Hanley told the court that there were a number of aggravating factors, including the fact that the attack was deliberate and premeditated; the complainant still being fearful for her life; the use of a hammer; and abuse of power and trust. The complainant, it was noted, was still suffering pain from the unprovoked assault.
It was also stated in court that the woman has a substantial medical bill of US$5,161, following treatment for her injuries, and she still has to do a follow up MRI. Hanley said the complainant is seeking compensation.
The man’s wife, who was present in court during the sentencing hearing last week, told the court that she is seeking compensation from the same court. Justice Charles said Paddy will have to compensate the woman or in default, he will face jail time for not paying the compensation. His lawyer said Paddy will make every effort to secure the funds.
During the hearing, Paddy apologised to the complainant, her family and his family.
He claimed that he was provoked to anger and unfortunately, he let it “get the better of me…I have to live and see everyday that everything that I have worked hard for go down the drain… I am sorry. May God bless her [his wife].”
He also told the court that he has four young children and he would like to be there for them in the near future.
On May 25, 2010 around 10:15 pm, Inspector Jones telephoned the Road Town Police Station stating that he had Paddy in custody at his (Jones) home for beating his wife with a hammer.
Around 10:23 pm, when officers arrived on the scene, they saw Paddy sitting on a rock and when the investigating officer told the man about the report he said, “Fraser (officer), you know what is frustration?”
When officers met Mrs Paddy inside the couple’s apartment, she was wearing a white tights and a green towel covering her lower body with what appeared to be blood running down her face, leg and right hand.
She was crying at the time and stated that she was in pain. The officers also noticed that the woman´s right leg and jaw were swollen.
Mrs Paddy told the officer that she and her husband had an argument because of a phone call she received earlier that night.
According to the woman, he then left the bedroom and returned with his right hand behind his back. He then approached her and started to hit her all over her body and face with a hammer.
The screaming woman then managed to escape through the back door. This was when Inspector Jones came to her rescue.
Officers saw a pool of blood at the stairway and door. Police officers also found a 14-inch hammer on the ground.