Devon Scott found not guilty of aggravated burglary in Cayman Brac
A man found guilty of wounding his ex-girlfriend with a knife has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.
The wound was a deep cut to her finger that required stitches.
Devon Scott, 39, of Cayman Brac was charged with aggravated burglary and wounding after an incident in Cayman Brac shortly after 7 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2014. He elected trial by judge alone and Justice Alastair Malcolm heard the matter.
Scott had admitted he went to the home of the man with whom his former girlfriend was living. He maintained that he went there to talk to her and get her to come back to him, although she had ended their relationship in February.
As Justice Malcolm remarked in his reasons for sentence on Friday, “If you did not know already that she wanted nothing to do with you, it was patently clear when she slammed the back door shut and locked it as soon as she saw you.”
Scott, carrying a knife, then climbed through a window of the house and was surprised by the owner of the house, who had a machete in his hand. Scott was hit on the back with the machete and cut twice on his arm.
There was a struggle between the two men and Scott was attempting to cut the other man in the neck when the woman intervened. Scott then struggled with her and she received the wound.
His defense was that the wound was caused by the other man’s machete. Justice Malcolm did not accept this version. He said he was satisfied that the wound was caused by Scott’s knife as the woman was using some force to push the knife up and away from the other man’s neck and Scott was resisting her. The judge said this was a deliberate act by Scott and he must have foreseen it could cause some bodily harm to her; it was not accidental.
The judge pointed out that any wounding is serious, but this one was aggravated by the fact that Scott entered the house knowing he was neither invited nor welcome, having a knife at the time and using it on one of the occupants.
The judge noted that the charge of aggravated burglary had alleged that Scott entered the house with a knife with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm on the man. There was no doubt that Scott had entered the house as a trespasser and did have a knife, but the issue was whether his intent was to inflict serious injury to the male occupant.
Once inside, he did try to cut the man’s neck, but that was after Scott himself had been hit three or four times with the machete. “He may well have intended to inflict really serious injury at that stage, but was that always his intent, or was it because of what [the other man] had done?”
The judge said he was in doubt as to what Scott’s intentions were when he entered the house. The verdict on that charge was therefore not guilty.
At the sentencing hearing, Crown counsel Greg Walcolm assisted the court with sentencing guidelines and precedents. He said there was a high degree of culpability because the defendant had invaded his victim’s home. He noted that there could be no discount of the sentence because the matter had gone to trial. Mr. Walcolm said the woman’s injury was not permanent.
Defense attorney John Furniss pointed out that Scott had no previous convictions for any violence. The decision to go to the house was almost spur of the moment.
During his trial, Scott had told the court that he had a hangover at the time of his actions and didn’t think things through; afterwards, he regretted what had happened. He maintained he went into the house to try to continue a conversation with the woman.
In passing sentence, Justice Malcolm explained that the maximum sentence in Cayman for wounding is seven years.
The incident also led to a charge of damage to property, referring to damage done to a vehicle outside the home. Mr. Furniss explained later that this charge can be dealt with in Summary Court only, so it would be heard at a later date.