Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne
By: Haydn Huggins•Fri, Mar 31, 2023
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne says she is happy for school teachers like Finicia Providence of the Fair Hall Primary School, whose vigilance may have prevented something more serious from happening at that school on March 24.
The Magistrate’s comments came at the Serious Offences Court on Monday during her sentencing remarks in the case of Nimal Williams of Fair Hall. Williams pleaded guilty to assaulting Providence causing her bodily harm and damaging her cellular phone.
The Court heard that during school hours on the date in question, Providence entered her classroom and observed Williams lifting up some students, and questioned him as to who he was what he was doing there.
He gave his name and said he had three children in that school; none was in Providence’s class. He proceeded to argue with the teacher, telling her that she can’t teach and pointed his hand in her face. Providence pulled out her phone and attempted to make a call, but Williams struck her on her hand, causing the phone to fall to the floor. The principal was informed and by this time Williams had fled. He was later arrested following a report to the police.
Williams told the Court that he went to the school after one of his children came home with a burst lip, and bleeding.
“When I got there I speak to security, I went to a class. I was not sure which class it was. All the children in the school know me. When I reach they call me and I lift them up.” he explained.
In his defence, he said that he asked the teacher why she had to get on so and his hand caught the phone accidentally and it fell. After the phone fell, he walked out of the class.
But the Magistrate told the defendant, “The little things that you may take for granted are bigger things. Lifting up somebody else’s child, male or female, may seem inappropriate, depending on how you do it. These things make the offense very offensive.”
Browne stressed the inconvenience caused to the teacher by the damage done to her phone as an aggravating factor.
“I am happy for school teachers like her (Providence). She inquired as to who you are, and what were you doing there”, Browne told Providence and said that teachers are there as custodians until the children leave the school compound.
She stressed the seriousness of the incident, but said, “Is only because I consider the children in the circumstances.”
Williams had told the Court he had three children, ages 6, 7, and 9.
For damaging the phone, he was ordered to pay $700 compensation to the teacher by April 11. He was also bonded for nine months in the sum of $2,000 or nine months behind bars.