Teen jailed for attacking policeman
Describing Christopher Seth Japeth Bynoe’s first offence as a “daring” one, a Bridgetown magistrate remanded the teen until July 28 in the hope that his presentencing report will reveal something redeeming.
Bynoe, who resides at Fordes Road, Clapham, St Michael, pleaded guilty to three offences before Magistrate Douglas Frederick in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today.
Those charges were that on June 28, the 17-year-old assaulted policeman Wendell Foster with intent to rob him, unlawfully and maliciously wounded him and intentionally damaged a partition belonging to the Crown.
In Sergeant Martin Rock’s outline of the facts, he said Foster went to the Wildey branch of Rubis around 1 a.m to get something to eat. The constable, who was not dressed in uniform, was sitting in his vehicle with the door open.
It was during that time that Bynoe, whose face was covered with an onion bag, walked up to Foster holding a two-foot long screwdriver, put it to his chest and demanded all his money.
Foster refused and the two struggled. During that time Foster informed his assailant that he was a policeman. The lawman received a bite in his chest and suffered minor lacerations in the altercation.
A security guard subsequently came from inside the gas station and helped to subdue Bynoe.
During Bynoe’s arrest and detainment at the District ‘A’ Police Station, he behaved aggressively and butted a cement board partition with his head, damaging it.
Attorney for the first-time offender, Mohia Ma’at, told the court today that Bynoe lived with his parents and siblings and even though he did odd jobs occasionally, he was seeking employment.
Ma’at added that Bynoe had been accepted into a joinery and carpentry programme but had not completed it.
The lawyer went on to say that at the time of the incident, Bynoe was in a highly drunken and intoxicated state.
“In his present moment of sobriety, he would wish to extend an apology to Foster firstly and secondly to the Royal Barbados Police Force, relative to the damage of the partition at the police station.”
Ma’at also reminded the court that his client had pleaded guilty early and had not “wasted judicial time”. He asked Magistrate Frederick to consider community service for Bynoe since he was a first-time offender.
“He is asking for an opportunity to correct the undeniable wrongs that have been done,” Ma’at added.
When the magistrate questioned the attorney about the extent of his client’s alcohol use, Ma’at said that Bynoe’s parents had confirmed that he did have a problem with alcohol. “He needs help,” Ma’at stressed.
Magistrate Frederick’s response though, was that the case did not merit community service. He felt that Bynoe had been “very daring” and even though he was “leaning heavily toward a custodial sentence”, Frederick said he was obligated by law to order a presentencing report.
“You are really a danger to society in your present state . . . dressed in an onion bag, a big able screw-driver and robbing people; because you could have killed Mr Foster.
“Maybe if he wasn’t a police officer and knew defence tactics, you may have gained more advantage,” the magistrate remarked.