Man breaks neighbour’s window over goat squabble

May 24, 2024

A St James man who reportedly broke his neighbour's window as revenge for the stoning of his goat, got off with a stern warning in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday, after paying for the damage.

Odion Burchell, of a Retirement address, was before the court on the charge of malicious destruction of property, to which he initially pleaded guilty with explanation. The court was told that on April 15, at 8:15 a.m., the complainant was at home when he saw Burchell's goat coming into his yard. The complainant threw a stone at the goat, but did not hit the animal. Shortly after, Burchell confronted the complainant and threatened to kill him and burn his house. Burchell then summoned other individuals and flung stones at the complainant's house, one of which broke a window, causing damage valued at $46,000.

The police were summoned, and under caution Burchell reportedly said, "Mi did heated at the time, mi did too angry." He was then arrested and charged.

After the allegations were outlined to presiding Judge Natiesha Fairclough-Hylton, the matter was stood down while Burchell and the complainant were sent to mediation to resolve the issue. They returned a few minutes later, with Burchell paying $46,000 in compensation as per their mediation agreement.

The court subsequently made a no-evidence motion after Burchell submitted a not-guilty plea. However, before Burchell was allowed to leave, Judge Fairclough-Hylton pointed out that he could have got a three-year sentence for his actions.

"If you are charged and you come back before me for a criminal offence, Mr Burchell, it is not going to go like this, do you understand me?" Fairclough-Hylton rebuked Burchell.

"I understand, miss," Burchell replied, at which point he was discharged and allowed to leave the courtroom.

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