Monday 26 October, 2020

They are not bad boys, parents and guardians plea for stabbing accused

One was described as an exemplary student, the other a cadet and prefect.

These were the descriptions given yesterday by parents and Deputy Principal yesterday, as they spoke in reference to the two 16-year-old boys charged in connection with a school stabbing incident.

16-year-olds - Jaheim Roberto Holder of Government hill, St Michael and Shakeil Ian Nicholls of Station Hill, St Michael appeared in the District "A" Magistrates Court charged with causing a disturbance at St Leonard's Boys Secondary School on February 12. Both denied the offences.  Holder also denied assaulting a 15-year-old on the same day.

Two 15-year-old boys are also jointly charged in the matter. 

The prosecution objected to both Holder and Nicholls bail stating that the incident occurred on the school compound in the presence of other students. He said they appeared to be an ongoing feud and feared if the accused were granted bail they would re-offend or become victims.

Akelia Reid, who represented Holder, acknowledged the seriousness of the offence but informed the court of her client's history.

Reid said Holder was "not violent" and had "no history of this sort of behavior". She refuted the objection that it was an ongoing feud as Holder got involved to assist another boy.

Holder, she explained, was also preparing for CXC's and asked the court to put conditions in place so Holder can stay away from the complainant.

Magistrate Douglas Frederick, however, said though such a condition was possible Holder may still be approached and in turn become a victim himself.

Holder's mother and Deputy Principal vouched for Holder saying he was someone who never got into trouble.

The court heard similar mitigating factors about Nicholls. His lawyer Rhea Layne said Nicholls was a cadet and a prefect.

"A prefect is not something taken lightly and is given to persons held in high esteem," she said.

Nicholls, according to Layne, received multiple stab wounds in the incident.

The magistrate taking into consideration that both had no previous history granted bail at $5000 each and imposed a 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. curfew. He also expressed his dismay at the recent "trend" in terms of stabbing incidents at schools recently. They return to court on April 12.

The two 15-year-old students were remanded to GIS pending pre-sentencing reports. Both pleading guilty to causing the disturbance and wounding Nicholls and return to court on March 14.

Facts revealed that a verbal dispute between one of the boys and Nicholls escalated on the school compound. Nicholls was stabbed. The other 15-year old, armed with a piece of metal joined in striking Nicholls in the head and Holder intervened to assist Nicholls. 

The mother of the minors appeared in the court and begged for leniency.

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