Narrow escape

Apology spares landscaper from going to prison

COURT TODAY BLOCKThe acceptance of his apology by a court marshal and the pleadings of an attorney allowed Antonio Renaldo Heallis to narrowly escape going to prison today.

Heallis, of Liverpool Road, Brittons Hill, St Michael denied intentionally damaging a door belonging to Peter Lewis last September 16 but pleaded guilty to a second charge of assaulting Gerald Hill, a marshal, in the execution of his duties.

Magistrate Douglas Frederick eventually convicted, reprimanded and discharged Heallis on the assault count in the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court No. 1.  He will return to court at a later date on the first charge.

Sergeant Martin Rock told the court that Hill and another marshal went to Bonnetts, Brittons Hill, St Michael looking for the 27-year-old landscaper after Magistrate Graveney Bannister of the Bridgetown Traffic Court had issued a warrant for his arrest for non-appearance.

When they saw the wanted man in an area called “The Gulf,” the marshals identified themselves and told him about the warrant. Heallis responded by telling them that he had already been to court, paid a fine and had the receipt, which was currently at his father’s house.

The marshals took him there but when he produced the receipt, it was related to a different court matter. The marshals pointed that out to Heallis and arrested him, at which time he asked to be taken back to “The Gulf” to return a bicycle.

The marshals obliged, but while there Heallis pushed Hill who was holding him, causing the court officer to lose balance. Heallis then escaped.

He was recaptured five days later when a warrant was executed at his home. He told police that he never pushed the marshal, but “he step back and stumble over a bench.”

Appearing amicus on behalf of Heallis, attorney-at-law Mohia Ma’at explained to the District ‘A’ Magistrates Court that Heallis genuinely thought that the marshals were arresting him for a matter which had already been settled and was unaware of the traffic offences.

After Magistrate Frederick chastised the man about his behaviour and informed him that persons convicted for such offences were usually given a custodial sentence, Heallis apologised both to Hill who was present and the Court.

His attorney also reminded him that it was a good opportunity for him to return to “The Gulf” and let the others know the seriousness of the offence which he committed.

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