A Werk-en-Rust youth has been ordered to reimburse his friend $50,000 for a medical bill after a cuff to the face he inflicted fractured a bone under the man’s right eye.
Norris Barnes, 20, of 13 Henry Street, Werk-en-Rust, was charged with unlawfully and maliciously wounding Shivraj Parmanand on December 4th, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or cause him grievous bodily harm.
According to the prosecution’s facts, the defendant and the complainant were consuming alcohol in the vicinity of Durban and Henry Streets when a heated argument ensued between the two over a bottle thrown on the ground. He stated that during the altercation, Barnes dealt several cuffs to Parmanand’s face, injuring his right eye.
Barnes, who pleaded guilty, explained that Parmanand and a few others were drinking in the rear of a truck but denied that he consumed alcohol that night. He stated that when the bottle they were drinking from was finished, he threw it into a heap located near a lantern post to dispose of it. Barnes related that Parmanand had been urinating nearby when he disposed of the bottle, which broke when it hit the ground.
The situation then quickly escalated from there, with Parmanand leaving and returning with a friend. The defendant related that the man started pointing in his face and shouting, causing him to feel threatened and to throw a punch in self defence. He said he then ran over to Jack’s Music House, where the two later rushed over, armed with bottles. He said that Parmanand later reported the matter to the police.
The complainant, who was present in court at the time, confirmed Barnes’ story. The man was forced to undergo emergency surgery to the value of $240,000 to his right eye for a fractured bone.
Barnes told the court that he was willing to assist with Parmanand’s medical bills, while stating that he was ready to make an initial payment of $50,000 and pay in instalments thereafter.
Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, after examining the facts of the matter, ruled that the defendant pay the mandatory sum of $50,000 to Parmanand, while stating that she did not feel he should reimburse the full amount as the complainant also had some fault in the situation. She added also that any other payment of money would be the responsibility of the two men to work out among themselves.
If Barnes is unable to pay the $50,000 ordered by the court on or before December 18th, he will be required to spend an alternative of four weeks in prison.