A young woman who allegedly poured boiling water over her partner while he was sleeping has been charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Toni Layanna James, 18, appeared in Summary Court on Tuesday from custody. The incident leading to the charge occurred in the early hours of Saturday, 12 July.
Crown Counsel Kirsty-Ann Gunn initially objected to bail.
She told Acting Magistrate Valdis Foldats that James and the man had been in a relationship until this incident. They have a child and were living together.
On Friday evening, she was upset that he was going out. She left. He then made arrangements and transported the child to grandparents for care. He went out as planned and returned to his abode around 3.30am.
James was there and inquired about the child. He explained and refused her request to collect the child because of the time. She was unhappy with the state of their relationship.
He went to bed and fell asleep. She also went to bed, but then got up, upset with the situation. She went into the kitchen, placed a pot of water on the stove, turned on the stove and waited for the water to reach the boiling point. She then poured the water over the man as he slept.
This caused him to immediately wake up with pain. James took her clothing and left the house. The man was taken to hospital where he was treated for burns to his torso and inside his mouth.
Mrs. Gunn said the man was now being treated as an out-patient. He was unable to eat any food and was on a liquid diet; he was being treated for pain management. The magistrate was shown photos of the victim, but Mrs. Gunn said the worst burns were covered by bandages.
She told the court James had admitted being angry and intentionally putting the water on the stove with the intention of scalding him. She said the Crown was treating the matter as a premeditated attack when the man was at his most vulnerable.
Objections to bail were based on a concern that the conflict between the parties would continue. Further, James could be considered a flight risk because she is a Jamaican national, here on a work permit.
Defence Attorney Lloyd Samson said all the objections to bail could be met by conditions the court could set. He explained that James was brought to Cayman when she was six years old and her father had been married to a local woman. She was raised here by them and now had a job that was still open to her.
Mr. Samson called James a victim of circumstance and said she had been the subject of assault in the past. He noted her young age and the fact she did not have the benefit of counsel when interviewed by police.
The attorney agreed the matter was serious, but pointed out the most serious injuries were second degree burns.
He pointed to several people in court who wee willing to stand as surety of James and offer her a place to stay. He said there was very little chance of any reoccurrence because the relationship was at an end. Social Services needed to be brought on board regarding the child, he advised the court.
The magistrate said it was not so much the nature of the injuries that concerned him but the circumstances in which they were inflicted.
Mrs. Gunn said some of the information provided in court had not been known to her earlier. There had been no indication from either party that there was any physical violence before this incident.
The magistrate questioned the person with whom James would reside. In a situation of domestic violence, the concern is always how to protect the complainant, he said. Given the information provided by Mr. Samson, he was satisfied he could impose conditions that amounted to house arrest. James’ continuing employment was an important factor, he indicated.
Bail conditions included a surety in the sum of $5,000, surrender of travel documents, a curfew from 7pm to 7am, reporting to the police station twice per week, and no contact with the complainant. James is not to discuss the case with other witnesses.
The matter was set for mention again on 19 August, with a target date of 17 September for preliminary inquiry because the matter must be dealt with in Grand Court.