Conditional discharges for Boyle family trio
A former senator pointed to a sense of white privilege and entitlement surrounding an attack that he suffered two summers ago.
Andrew Simons was speaking yesterday after former deputy mayor of Hamilton Courtland Boyle Sr and his sons, Courtland Boyle Jr, 21, and Robert Boyle, 20, admitted unlawfully assaulting him.
The three men each received a six-month conditional discharge at Magistrates' Court.
Mr Simons told The Royal Gazette: “If you have the right type of privilege in Bermuda, you often get a pass for bad behaviour.
“To be specific, if you're male, if you're wealthy, if you're white, people are more often likely to excuse drunken behaviour by simply saying ‘boys will be boys'.”
Courtland Boyle Sr, 50, also admitted causing $967.81 worth of damage to Mr Simons's car. He was ordered to pay for the damage.
It stemmed from an incident that took place on August 3, 2017.
The court heard that Mr Simons and his wife were in their car on Boss's Cove Road, Pembroke, at about 8.45pm.
Mr Simons, a One Bermuda Alliance senator at the time, had stopped and reversed his car to allow another vehicle to pass on the road.
While backing up, Mr Simons noticed Robert Boyle giving him the finger.
Mr Simons told the driver of the vehicle who responded: “Yes, he probably was sticking up his middle finger.”
Robert Boyle then got out of the car and reached through Mr Simons's car window and grabbed his arm.
About six passengers who were in the other vehicle exited and one of them pulled Robert Boyle away from Mr Simons.
The court heard that Courtland Boyle Sr also grabbed Mr Simons's arm and then used his hand to smash the wing mirror of Mr Simons's car.
The incident was recorded on mobile phones by Mr Simons and his wife.
A video showing a portion of the incident was provided to The Royal Gazette yesterday.
Mr Simons said he made the decision to record the incident “because I didn't think people would believe what had happened”.
He added: “It was so strange and it was unprovoked.”
Mr Simons described the incident as “surreal”.
He added: “The whole group was totally uninhibited, shirts off, aggressive. I was worried for my wife because they were trying to get in on the passenger-side door. She was upset.”
Mr Simons said that he could not drive away without potentially hitting someone because his car was surrounded.
He added: “I really just wanted them to calm down and ideally wait for the police.”
Saul Froomkin, who represented all three Boyle family members, called the incident an “unfortunate event”.
He said that the event had taken place during the Cup Match holiday weekend and that his clients “probably had more alcohol than they ought to have had”.
Mr Froomkin told the court that his clients had approached Mr Simons's car to try to grab the phone with which he was recording the incident.
He said that the episode was “completely out of character” for all three men.
Mr Froomkin asked magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo to consider an absolute discharge on the assault plea for all three.
He added: “To have their future adversely affected by conviction would be unjust and unfair.”
Mr Tokunbo described the assault as “at the lower end of the scale”.
But he added: “The behaviour nonetheless needs to be recognised as the kind that needs to be deterred.”
Courtland Boyle Sr served as an elected councillor and alderman with the Corporation of Hamilton between 2003 and 2009. He declined to comment outside court yesterday.