Davin Gerrian Ebanks was sentenced to three months imprisonment on Wednesday for common assault against his wife.
Ebanks, 55, had pleaded guilty when he first came to court in October and Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale ordered a pre-sentence report.
The magistrate read sections of the otherwise confidential report aloud, explaining why immediate imprisonment was appropriate.
Ebanks was charged after an incident in August, when his wife reported to police that he had punched her in the face. An officer who went to the home around 6pm observed a slight swelling on her left cheek.
While they were talking, Ebanks returned to the scene and he appeared intoxicated. He denied punching his wife. After being cautioned, he said ‘I only grabbed her by the hair’ in an argument over money he said she owed him.
The magistrate said Mrs. Ebanks had agreed she took money from her husband. ‘She was trying to preserve income to pay bills because her husband spends it on alcohol and drugs.’
Ebanks had told the writer of the pre-sentence report that he drank two or three beers a day but did not get drunk. He also said he did not use drugs. But his urine tested positive for cocaine.
The magistrate indicated there was nothing in the report to show that Ebanks could benefit from the anti-domestic violence programme run by the Department of Community Rehabilitation. Defendants who attend the 32-week programme are monitored by the courts and their case is concluded only after they complete the programme.
In Ebanks’ case, the magistrate said he should use his time in prison to think about his drug and alcohol use.