Bar assault leads to two years in jail for alleged Parkside affiliate – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Bar assault leads to two years in jail for alleged Parkside affiliate

An alleged Parkside affiliate was yesterday jailed for two years for assaulting and threatening his female cousin.

Prince Edness pushed and slapped Chantice Butterfield and threw a drink over her during a confrontation at a city bar.

He later tried to get her to drop the charges against him.

The 25-year-old St John's Road, Pembroke resident admitted to assault, uttering threatening words and conspiring to pervert justice when he appeared in Magistrates' Court last month.

The charges derive from an incident at Captain's Lounge on Reid Street, on February 4.

Edness has also admitted contacting the victim while he was in police custody and telling her she would be “safe” if she dropped the charges.

Crown counsel Kirsty-Ann Kiellor today read out a victim impact statement from Ms Butterfield.

“Prince Edness, who is my relation by marriage, has been threatening me physically and emotionally because of my friends who live on St Monica's Road,” she said.

She said Edness was a “very respected individual in the Parkside gang” and said she knew for a fact that he could get anybody to do harm for him. She said that before the attack she was able to go wherever she wanted but now had to constantly watch her back, and that she feared being hurt or killed.

Edness' lawyer Shade Subair asked for a suspended custodial sentence combined with probation.

She told Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo that Edness had been forthcoming with his probation officer, and had been deemed suitable for a community-based sentence.

“This court has the opportunity to teach a real lesson, not through the cliche, automatic, go-to-prison approach. Make him do community service. I can assure the court that would teach him a lesson. This is not a jolly ride by any means.”

Edness told the court: “As nervous as I am, I feel as though it's in my best interest to talk. I fully accept responsibility for what I done. I did get into a heated argument with the defendant, I did throw a drink on her, but I did not hit her.”

He called it nothing more than a bar dispute.

Of the telephone call he said: “We were just trying to resolve the problem the best way we could. I have no grudge against anyone.”

As his family looked on, Edness asked Mr Tokunbo for leniency and said he had been praying for many nights. He said the time he has already spent in custody was his first experience of Westgate Prison and he had learned his lesson.

In passing sentence, Mr Tokunbo said: “Let me start by saying that I hope you've learned from this experience. It's a pity that you have to be in custody to learn something like this. You say that what you were doing was trying to solve the problem. That aggravates the problem.”

He said that a community sentence would indeed teach Edness a lesson, adding: “But in my view that is not the way it should go.”

Mr Tokunbo said the court had to send a message to would-be offenders not to “mess with the witness”.

For conspiring to pervert the course of justice, he sentenced Edness to two years' imprisonment. He also gave a five-month sentence for the assault, plus three months for threatening words. All sentences are to run concurrently, with time spent in custody taken into account.

On his release Edness will be placed on 12 months' probation, with a daily curfew for the first three months, random drug testing, and assessment under the violent offenders' programme.

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Published March 25, 2011 at 10:01 am (Updated March 25, 2011 at 10:00 am)

Bar assault leads to two years in jail for alleged Parkside affiliate

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