By Shanique Richards
St. Kitts Reporter
Quincy Wilson was found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Owen ‘Boy Bush’ Hunkins of Cayon after Wilson set the man on fire in 2005.
After deliberating for one hour on Wednesday, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict against Wilson who will have to wait until next Tuesday to receive his sentence.
According to the particulars of the case, on October 7, 2005 Wilson set Hunkins’ pants on fire while he lay on a bench on Back Street, Cayon. As a result, Hunkins suffered severe injuries and lost the use of his left leg after being hospitalized for seven months and undergoing multiple surgeries.
The first witness for the prosecution was Hunkins himself, who hopped into the courtroom on crutches. He said he and the accused had been friends for about twenty years and on the day in question they began drinking with some friends around noon.
According to Hunkins’ sworn testimony, he was under a shed liming when Wilson walked up to him and said he had a hidden quart of rum somewhere.
“I tell him to go for it and come back. He stay by me for about 10 minutes and he was standing close to the bench by my feet. I see him take out a cigarette and a lighter. A while after, he then left to get the rum and that is when I realized that my pants was on fire,” Hunkins said.
Hunkins said he then threw himself in a nearby drain and was able to out the fire. He was then taken to the J.N. France Hospital.
Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, chief surgeon at the hospital, treated Hunkins and gave testimony as to the man’s injuries.
“Hunkins received second and third degree burns that covered 16% of his body’s surface, predominantly on the lower extremity (left leg) and he underwent a number of surgeries to remove the scar tissue, skin grafting exercises and multiple blood transfusions. He also suffers from contracture of the knee which is a shortening or distortion of the muscular tissue caused by scarring or paralysis,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson also said that Hunkins had to undergo physical therapy but no longer had the use of his leg and was subjected to using crutches.
His Lordship Francis Belle said he would accept that there was no intent and that it might have been just a prank or to teach him a lesson.
“Unless Hunkins was struck by lightening, the only fire around was the cigarette and lighter that Wilson had in his hands. I do not think that there was any intent because they were friends and I didn’t hear anyone mention any sort of bad blood and I don’t think the issue of intent is strong enough to go to the jury therefore I will dismiss the 1st count of causing grievous bodily harm, but serious harm was inflicted.”
The jury, however, was allowed to deliberate on the sole count for the incident that left an otherwise healthy man crippled for life.