Kevin Joshua, who doused a schoolboy with acid and left him disfigured, was on Tuesday found guilty by a jury of inflicting grievous bodily harm on the youth.
The verdict was returned at the Berbice Assizes, less than thirty minutes after jurors had retired to deliberate.
Justice Brassington Reynolds, who presided over the trial, told Joshua, known as ‘Putoo,’ that he needed the benefit of a probation report before proceeding to hear the plea of mitigation and imposing the sentence, which is now scheduled for July 15.
State Counsel Stacy Goodings, through the evidence of four witnesses, established that Joshua had doused a then 15-year-old Harlan Rose with acid, thereby causing permanent disfigurement to his head, left shoulder, arm and abdomen.
It was the prosecutor’s case that during the evening of July 9, 2012, Rose had cycled to Victoria Street, Cumberland Village, East Canje, with the intention of contacting Deon Jackman, called ‘Yankee,’ a taxi driver.
Jackman was not at home but the teenager encountered the man’s wife, Rosetta, her sister Wendy Cort, and their cousin, Sarah. He was reportedly interacting with the women when he observed that Joshua was cursing and beating his parents. However, he paid no particular interest until he saw Joshua running out of his yard with a hockey stick in his hand and enquiring whether he [Rose] wanted to fight.
Rose had refused to enter into combat and told Joshua that he was there to see ‘Yankee.’ Not satisfied with the answer, Joshua told the teenager to wait and left to return. Within two minutes, he returned, tapped Rose on his shoulder and then doused him with acid.
The teen screamed, “It burning! It burning! Putoo throw acid on me.”
Rose, who was dressed in a grey vest, pulled off the garment and then plunged into a nearby trench. He was later pulled out by Cort, who took him to the New Amsterdam Hospital, where he remained a patient for a month.
Meanwhile, Joshua, in his statement to police and in an unsworn statement during his trial, maintained that he was not responsible for Rose’s injuries.
His story was that he approached Rose with a hockey stick after he heard a noise coming from within his yard. He said he found Rose, whom he claimed was armed with a bottle, in his yard. He added that contents from the bottle were thrown on him and he was burned, resulting in him and Rose “scrambling” each other. However, he added that he did not know how Rose was burned.
Joshua also said he attempted to make a report at the police station but fifteen minutes later a “set of people” arrived in front of his yard. He added that on the next morning he was arrested by the police, who subsequently took him to the Central Police Station and then to the New Amsterdam Hospital, where he was treated for his burns. The charge against him was later instituted.