Jamaica Observer:–  A man who reportedly stabbed his neighbour seven times, damaging her lungs and heart after she went to complain to his mother that he had deliberately bumped into her, was last week denied bail when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

It was also reported that the complainant was kicked several times in her face after she laid on the ground bleeding.

Matthew Smith, 18, of Cooreville Gardens, St Andrew, was arrested recently and charged with wounding with intent following the bloody incident which, according to the complainant’s lawyer Tom Tavares-Finson, almost resulted in the death of the 25-year-old victim.

Finson told the court that the doctor informed her that if she had arrived five minutes later at the hospital she would have died, based on the amount of blood she lost.

According to allegations outlined in court on Friday by the prosecutor, on August 24 at about 4:40 pm, the complainant was walking towards her house when she saw the accused walking with some trash. It was reported that the accused then purposely bumped into her, but they both went their separate ways.

Sometime later, the complainant reportedly saw the accused’s mother and told her about what had happened. However, this was denied by the accused, who came along and told the complainant to stop talking.

An argument reportedly developed between them during which the accused kept pointing his hands in the complainant’s face. The complainant reportedly shoved the accused’s hands out of her face after which he brandished a ratchet knife and she ran.

Further reports are that he chased her and stabbed her seven times in her upper body, and she fell on her hands and knees. Smith reportedly then kicked her several times in her face, causing the complainant to fall on her back.

The complainant, who was assisted to the University Hospital of the West Indies, was admitted and spent a week there before she was released, but she is scheduled to return for further treatment.

The prosecutor also told the court that the police were opposed to bail as the complainant is fearful for her life.

The allegations were, however, firmly denied by Smith’s lawyer Andrew Irving, who told Parish Judge Vaughn Smith that the complainant was the aggressor and that his client was also injured.

“The complainant had been harassing my client and he had been trying to avoid her,” Irving told the court. “She was the one who bumped into him”.

The lawyer told the court that his client, who had no previous conviction, was not a troublemaker and that he was a member of the Boys’ Brigade at his church.

“He is not a threat to the public and he is willing to relocate,” the lawyer added.

“Are you saying that the complainant was armed?” the judge asked.

Irving in reply said, “No. I am not saying that, but while they were fighting she was stabbed.”

“So, let’s say there was a fight, what was the justification for him stabbing her seven times?” the judge further asked.

“It wasn’t intentional,” the attorney answered.

“So he accidentally stabbed her seven times,” the judge then remarked.

Irving, however, insisted that his client was defending himself while maintaining that his client was a fit and proper candidate for bail.

The judge, however, refused Smith bail, noting that he had concerns about Smith interfering with the witness if granted bail and that he would abscond.

Smith was subsequently remanded and is to return to court on October 12.


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