AN Enterprise man who was defending his property has been acquitted of wounding his niece’s boyfriend with intent to cause him bodily harm on Carnival Friday 16 years ago.
Steve Rosal, 58, was on trial before Justice Carla Brown-Antoine in the Port of Spain High Court charged with wounding Jason Bharath on February 28, 2003.
A jury deliberated for just about an hour before they returned their not-guilty verdict in Rosal’s favour. He was represented by attorney Karunaa Bisramsingh of Regius Chambers.
According to the evidence, Bharath went to Rosal’s home to meet his girlfriend and was told he was not welcome there. He was also asked to leave and not come back.
He went to a bar in the area and returned a short while later when Rosal again asked him why he was there. The two argued and Bharath left but returned early Saturday morning, at about 4.30 am, with a friend.
Rosal again tried to tell him to leave and a struggle started between them. Bharath’s friend and his girlfriend tried to separate them and Bharath went into the house.
In his evidence, he claimed Rosal came into the house and picked up a cutlass and both of them began struggling with the weapon.
Bharath said he decided to leave and when he reached outside, Rosal ran after him and began slashing him. He fell and was chopped to his head, abdomen, back and hand.
Rosal’s niece was called as a witness for the prosecution, but she turned hostile while giving evidence, claiming she never saw the chopping and that when she told police she did, she only did so to help Bharath, her boyfriend at the time.
Rosal, in his defence, said he was only defending himself and his property.
He said Bharath was drunk that night and was the aggressor and had picked up the cutlass and began planassing him with it and it was while they were struggling, Bharath was chopped. He also said Bharath’s friend was also involved so it was him against them.
Rosal’s sister was also called as a defence witness and she testified that Bharath, her daughter’s boyfriend, was not welcome on the property and they did not want him at the house.
The prosecution was led by state attorney Veona Neal-Munroe.