Text message leads to assault charge

April 24, 2024

The text message, which sparked the break-up of a Kingston couple, was tendered as evidence in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday when Romario Stephens showed up in court to answer to a charge of assaulting his now ex-girlfriend.

The court was told that on March 29, at 11:30 p.m, there was an argument between Stephens and the complainant after a text message from a female friend popped up on Stephens' phone while he was sleeping. The woman reportedly read the text message and did not take kindly to what she saw.

"I was sleeping, and she saw the message. She wake me up and me go outside. Me come back inside fi me car key and phone and she throw weh me car key. She drape me by me shirt and me push her," said Stephens, in giving his version of what happened.

Stephens subsequently pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, backing up the woman's claim that he had assaulted her. "11:30 at night was not a good time to confront a man about a text message. You probably could've waited until in the morning," Senior Parish Judge Sanchia Burrell told the complainant.

"Sir, you are admonished and discharged," Burrell told Stephens, following his apology to the complainant.

Stephens also paid over $20,000 to the complainant to compensate for the injuries she sustained.

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