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Slap on the wrist

man gets community service for obstructing police officer

COURT TODAY BLOCKThe behaviour of Akeem Larond Giovanni James was condemned by Magistrate Douglas Frederick when he appeared in the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court today.

Luckily for the first-time offender, he got away with a slap on the wrist on a charge which could have sent him to HMP Dodds.

James, 21, of Forde’s Road, Clapham, Christ Church will return to court tomorrow to be sentenced to community service after being found guilty of obstructing a police officer in the line of duty on June 13, 2014.

Breaking down in tears at times while conducting his cross examination, James was cautioned several times by Magistrate Frederick about his behaviour.

He even referred to the Magistrate as “big man” on one occasion.

But what concerned the judicial officer in particular was the fact that James “demonstrated a lot of anger inside him”.

After listening to Station Sergeant Oneal Small give evidence, James loudly declared “everything he just say was a whole big bunch of lies”.

After observing him for a while, Magistrate Frederick warned the BICO salesman that his behavior was not going to work in his favour.

The court heard from Small during his testimony that while on duty at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium on June 13, 2014 at the popular Pork Lime, he observed a fight, where he saw people throwing punches as well as missiles.

When he approached the area, he saw a man crouching in the bushes. After calling him out several times, he eventually came out, followed by two other men, one of whom was James.

As he attempted to arrest the man on suspicion that he was involved in the fight, James grabbed his friend and attempted to pull him away from the police and shouted “don’t touch my brother”.

He was subsequently arrested.

James disputed that, saying he was actually on his way home with a friend when the police arrested them.

He said he did not get irritated when police attempted to arrest his friend, but remained calm and told the police it was uncalled for.

But after witnessing his behaviour in court, Magistrate Frederick said he found that hard to believe.

“Don’t ever exhibit that kind of behavior again. I find it hard to believe that if you are behaving like this in a controlled environment, that when the police attempted to arrest your “brother” that you were calm,” he told James right before finding him guilty of the offence.

He also warned James that while he may have close friends, if he sees them doing the wrong thing, he should walk away.

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