An American citizen who was arrested and charged for several offences during last year’s carnival J’ouvert was convicted in the Magistrate’s Court. Tio Henry, who was living at St. Johns Street, appeared in the St. Johns Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday before Magistrate Clarke, and pleaded guilty to Making use of indecent Language and Carrying Abroad an Offensive Weapon. He was convicted and fined $550; in default he will serve 4 months in prison.
The Court heard that during last year’s Carnival J’ouvert, members of the Special Services Unit (SSU) were in the process of effecting an arrest on Lower Market Street; when Henry appeared from out of nowhere and began wrestling with a member of the squad. He was seen literally barring the officer from performing his duty. Other officers, who were on the scene, saw what was happening and went to the assistance of their colleague. Henry became even more aggressive and put up a struggle, while hurling a number of expletives at the police. At one point he was seen trying to remove a knife from his pocket, but was wrestled to the ground and disarmed. He was taken into custody and charged.
His conviction came amidst concerns of police brutality, which was a groping issue in certain sections of the media. An official from the US Embassy in Barbados was even present in Court throughout the trial; and was seen taking copious notes up the point where the defendant changed his plea to Guilty. The Prosecution in turn withdrew the other charges, but felt strongly that he would have been convicted for the other offences had he not pleaded guilty. He has since paid a portion of the money and has up to the 10th of February to pay the remainder. He was represented by Attorney-at-Law Leon Chaku Symister.
Meantime, Rashard Peters of Green Bay was convicted and sentenced to an additional 2yrs in prison on Thursday. The convicted “Serial House-breaker” found himself again before Chief Magistrate Walsh in the St. Johns Magistrate’s Court, charged with House Break-in and Larceny. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2yrs in prison.