Prisoner assaults accuser in court

A prisoner yesterday physically attacked his accuser in a city courtroom.

“I just frustrated being in prison all the time on remand, remand,” Wesley Griffith lamented afterward, while telling Magistrate Judy Latchman that he was “sorry” for his actions.

Griffith jumped out of the prisoners’ dock and attacked the virtual complainant (VC) Derrick Halley, whom he is accused of robbing. Halley was dealt several cuffs about his face and body.

When the case was called yesterday, it was stood down for a brief moment when the magistrate left the bench and went into her chambers. It was during this time that the defendant scaled the prisoners’ dock and attacked Halley who was sitting in the public gallery. He was eventually restrained.

At the time of the attack, Griffith was neither handcuffed nor shackled as it is protocol for such restraints to be removed once a prisoner rises to formally appear before the magistrate.

Griffith has pleaded not guilty to the charge of robbery with violence. It is alleged that he robbed Halley of a cell phone and a quantity of cash, all totaling $277,000, on June 26 at Georgetown. He is also accused of using personal violence immediately before, during or after the attack.

After he was restrained and the proceedings were reconvened, Griffith vehemently denied committing the offence leveled against him. He said Halley does not know him.

He explained to Magistrate Latchman that before the attack, he was enquiring from Halley whether he knew him. Griffith said that instead of being given an answer, Halley “just suck he teeth and turn away.”

The visibly angry Griffith said, “Meh worship I geh vex after he suck he teeth when I ask he if he know me.” He added, “He ain’t answering me, he just deh sucking he teeth on me… and I just jump out the docks and cuff he in he face.” He reiterated that he was sorry for what happened, while also explaining that he has a host of other charges before the courts and to have had this present charge laid against him was disturbing.

“I don’t know where this charge come from to come on me now,” a visibly distressed Griffith said.

The unrepresented Griffith was informed that he would be remanded to prison.

His matter will be called again on July 16 for statements.

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