By Shanique Richards
St. Kitts Reporter
Quincy Wilson who was convicted of ‘Inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm’ on Owen ‘Boy Bush’ Hunkins was sentenced on Tuesday. Before sentencing the judged asked Hunkins if he wished to be compensated for his injuries or if he wished to take the matter to civil court and try to get all he was out. Hunkins made his decision to be compensated and asked that Wilson pay his outstanding hospital bills.
The Judge made his ruling and Wilson was sentenced to pay $7000 to Hunkins, the amount for the hospital bills and $2500 in court cost with a total of $9500, over a twelve month period. Failure to comply will result in 12 months imprisonment.
According to the particulars of the case, on October 7, 2005 Wilson set Hunkins’ pants on fire while he lay on a bench under a shed at Back Street, Cayon. As a result, Hunkins suffered severe injuries and lost the use of his left leg. He was hospitalized for seven months and had multiple surgery. Wilson was charged with ‘Causing Grievous Bodily Harm’ and ‘Inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm’.
However, after the prosecution called it’s three witnesses to the stand the inference was drawn that Wilson did not ‘intend’ to cause grievous harm to Hunkins. Therefore, after listening to the submission made by the defense, His Lordship decided to withdraw the 1st count and let the jury deliberate on the second count of ‘Inflicting Greivous Bodily Harm’.
His Lordship said he would accept that there was no intent and that it might have just been a prank or to teach him a lesson. ‘Unless Hunkins was stroke by lightening, the only fire around was the cigarette and lighter that Wilson had in his hands. I did not hear any mention of bad blood between the two men so I don’t think the issue of intent is strong enough so I’ll withdraw the first count,’ His Lordship said.
Owen Hunkins himself testified that he and the accused had been friends for some twenty years. He stated that on the night in question, he was ‘limin’ under a shed when the accused walked up to him and said that he had a quarter bottle of rum hidden. He said that the accused stayed next to him for about 10-20 minutes then pulled out a lighter and a cigarette and lit it.
He said that the accused then left to get the rum and that is when he realized that his pants were on fire. Hunkins said that he called out to Quincy who then turned around and began to help him extinguish the fire and that he then threw himself in a nearby drain and that is when he was able to out the fire. Hunkins was then taken to the hospital where the otherwise healthy man left on crutches and lost the use of his left leg.
As the defense was making its summation before sentencing the friendship between the two men became the key factor. “My Lord, if you look at the union historically made between them over the years, they were very good friends. My client is only 29 and they were friends for over 20 years so you do the math. Please consider that he assisted him in outing the fire instantaneously after he was said to have caused it which shows some concern for his friend,” said the defense.
“This friendship was based on the wrong thing, it was based on rum. But I hope someday you all can patch it up again,” said Belle before sentencing.