Though 29-year-old Zimroy Joseph of Sion Hill escaped a prison sentence on Wednesday for smashing his mother’s (Sharon Joseph) cellular phone, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett considers the defendant’s action to be close to beating his mother.

Joseph, who was before the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court, had pleaded guilty to without lawful excuse, damaged a cellular phone valued $150 belonging to his mother.

The incident occurred around 1pm on the 19th May – nine days after Mothers; Day – at the Windward Bus Terminal, known as Little Tokyo, where the defendant is employed as a watchman.

In presenting the facts, Prosecutor Curlene Samuel told the Court that on the day in question, Joseph’s mother confronted him at Little Tokyo about something which was reported to her. As a result, the defendant got upset, took up her cellular phone and slammed it on the ground. She reported the matter to the police who investigated the report and arrested her son. When cautioned, he said nothing.

The mother, who was asked to take the stand, broke down in tears, as she told the Court what she was going through as a result of her son’s behaviour. But the Magistrate told her there was no need to get emotional.

According to him, “You bring children into the world, but you can’t control their minds.”

Turning to the defendant, Burnett said sternly, “She helped to get you into this world. You mashed up your mother’s phone; this is close to beating her.”

The woman told the Court her son was a habitual alcohol drinker, and behaved aggressively whenever he consumed alcohol. She noted that he’s the father of a very young child.

“Just yesterday he hug me up and say, ‘Mummy, I love you’,’ I say, ‘You love me and you drinking rum so?’”

When the Magistrate asked whether she wanted her son to repay her for the phone, the mother replied, “No please,” adding, If he ain’t drink, you don’t know is he.”

She asked the Court to put him on a bond, and/or make an order for counselling.

“I have to follow the law, but I have little tolerance for this type of behavior,” Burnett contended.

The defendant had told the Court earlier, while being questioned by the Magistrate, that he once attended the Bishop’s College Kingstown, but not for long. He fathered two children, the youngest being 4 months old.

The Magistrate put him on a one-year bond which if he breeches, he will have to pay the Court $1,000 forthwith or go to prison for three months.

The offender had previous convictions for damage to property and for marijuana possession.

Before his mother left the dock, the Magistrate told her, “Continue to work with him, he is your son.”