Tobago man to pay compensation for 'mud mas' wounding

A Tobago man was fined on Thursday and ordered to compensate his victim for injuring the man’s face when he pelted him with a bottle on Carnival Tuesday night,2010.

Ogana Hector was fined $5,000 by Justice Gail Gonzales, who found him guilty of the offence of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He was ordered to pay the fine by March 2022, or serve 18 months’ hard labour if he fails to do so.

He was also ordered to pay $10,000 in compensation to his victim, Antonio Dennis. The first payment of $5,000 is due by January 1, and the balance has to be paid by February 1.

It was the State’s case that on February 16, 2010, at about 8.30 am, Dennis was with his girlfriend and a group of his friends participating in mud mas celebrations.

A fight broke out and Dennis and his girlfriend were separated from their friends.

Dennis then began looking for a particular friend and walked in Hector’s direction on Garden Side Street.

His evidence was that when he reached the man, Hector asked for the bottle he had in his hand and Dennis gave it to him.

It was also the prosecution’s case that Hector walked away, but turned around and pelted Dennis with the bottle. Dennis's injuries included a deep laceration to the right side of his face,, over the cheek, which was cut “through and through,” according to a medical report. He also received a partial cut on the right lower pre-molar tooth.

Dennis had emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and repair his face, and spent five days in hospital.

A month later, on March 16, PC Mercier arrested Hector.

In her ruling, Gonzales said having assessed the credibility and reliability of the State’s witnesses, she found as a fact that Hector was with other people in the band, following a music truck, when Dennis approached someone, asking about his friend’s whereabouts.

She also said she found as a fact Hector approached Dennis, asked him for the bottle he was drinking from and when he received it, struck him in the face with it.

Gonzales said having found that that Hector was at the Garden Side carpark at the time of the incident, she was also satisfied he was the person who hit Dennis in the face with a bottle.

“In this case, the inevitable consequence of smashing a bottle into someone’s face is that the person would suffer serious injury, normally involving lacerations and cuts.

“In this case, the only reasonable inference to be drawn from Hector striking Dennis in the face with a bottle was that he intended to do him serious injury. In those circumstances, I am satisfied so that I am sure that when Hector struck Dennis with the bottle he intended to do Dennis serious bodily harm,” she said as she found Hector guilty of the charge.

Hector was represented by attorneys Adelia Jordan and Khadija Sinanan from the Public Defenders’ Department. The State was represented by prosecutor Stacy Lalloo Chung.

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