Man torn between lovers, ends up on assault charge

-says held at outpost with infant son

A single father, who admitted to assaulting one of his two girlfriends, was yesterday ordered to undergo counselling by Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

Lesley Charles, 31, accepted the charge which stated that at Georgetown on January 16, he unlawfully assaulted Shabana Seals, so as to cause her actual bodily harm.

Presenting the facts of the case, Police Sergeant Kerry Bostwick said that the virtual complainant (VC) was at the defendant’s home when he received a phone call at which she became annoyed.

According to Bostwick, the woman began packing her clothes to leave the house but was stopped from doing so by the defendant.

The court was further told that the VC eventually stayed the night. However, the next morning, the defendant’s cell phone rang again, which again caused Seals to become annoyed.

Bostwick reported that it was at this point that Charles assaulted Seals, whom he has known for the past four years.

When given a chance to speak, Charles said that he has two girlfriends; he said that there is the “first one” whom he referred to as his “personal girlfriend” and the VC, whom he described as his “other girlfriend.”

According to his story, the VC wants him to choose between her and the other woman.

When the court enquired from the defendant what stance he would take as relates choosing between the two women in his life, Charles who appeared to be momentarily lost gazed blankly in the distance and offered no response.

As he continued his explanations into the charge levelled against him, the defendant said that Seals had borrowed his clothes iron and had not returned it. He said that on the day in question, he was questioning her about when the iron would be returned but she refused to give an answer.

According to him, the woman then attempted to leave his premises but was stopped from so doing since he locked the gate; demanding before she left his yard, an answer as to when the iron would be returned.

Charles told the court that at this point a pull-and-tug ensued between them as he tried to prohibit the woman from leaving the yard while she in turn resisted.

According to him, the woman’s hand was “accidentally squeezed” at the gate as they both were pulling and tugging at it.

In further explanations to the court, Charles said that later on the day of the incident, his “personal girlfriend” visited his home while the complainant was still there and also informed him that he would have to make a choice between them.

He said while he was conversing with his “personal girlfriend” in the house, the VC, who was standing in the yard, wanted to enter the house.

He claimed that in order to keep the two women from getting into any altercation, he closed the doors to restrain the VC from entering and stood guard at a window with a mug of water with which he said he would have thrown on her if she attempted to climb into the house.

However, he said, he had no need to use the mug of water. The complainant left and reported to the police that he had assaulted her.

The defendant told the magistrate that he never inflicted any injury on the complainant and that the only injuries she sustained were “from the gate.”

Seals was present in court but did not indicate she wanted to say anything, nor did the court ask her to speak.

Detained with infant

Charles, who entered the court room with his three-month-old son cradled in his arms and a baby bag across his shoulders explained to the court that after being arrested by policemen on Thursday, he was taken to the North Ruimveldt Police Outpost where he was detained in custody with his infant son until being placed before the court yesterday morning.

The vendor, who was unrepresented by counsel, gave his address as 3188 North Ruimveldt and told the court that he is a single father and is the only person to look after his son.

Magistrate Sewnarine-Beharry then ordered a female officer, who was seated in the courtroom, to take the child outside until after the matter had been heard whereupon he was handed back to his father.

When asked about the child’s mother, Charles indicated that neither of the women at the centre of the incident was the mother of the child.

He claimed that when his son was two months old, the child’s mother left the baby with him, telling him that she was going to the airport to receive another son of hers; but he has since never seen or heard from the woman.

The presiding magistrate then demanded an explanation from the police prosecutors and other officers as to the merit of the defendant’s claim of being detained with the child

After no one was able to provide the court with an explanation as to why Charles was made to stay in police custody with the infant, the magistrate firmly ordered an investigation into the claim.

After the hearing, which lasted some 15 minutes, the magistrate ordered Charles to seek counselling at the Help and Shelter Organisation.

Additionally, pending a report from that agency, the defendant was placed on self bail and bonded to keep the peace until the matter is determined.

The case continues on February 8.

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