Mark Anthony Seymour, also known as Mark Hilary, was found guilty on Friday after a jury of five men and two women heard evidence in a two-day Grand Court trial.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, which was laid against him after an incident in the early hours of Nov. 21, 2015 in the vicinity of Nectar Lounge in the Seven Mile Shops complex off West Bay Road. The victim named “Mark Hilary” as the person who had stabbed him; defense attorney Crister Brady suggested that the young man was either lying or mistaken.
Justice Charles Quin set sentencing for Thursday afternoon, March 3, after Mr. Brady asked for a social inquiry report.
Crown counsel Scott Wainwright, who conducted the case for the prosecution, asked for a victim impact statement, noting that the injury sustained was a punctured lung.
Seymour, 31, and the victim/complainant, 18, were the only persons who gave direct evidence in court about the incident. After the verdict, Justice Quin told the investigating officer it was regrettable that she did not get a little more help from the people who were there. At least four people were named as being at the scene; the officer in her evidence described unsuccessful attempts to obtain statements or even get individuals to talk to her.
One man did give a statement of what he saw and heard from about 50 feet away; he said he did not know any of the six or seven people gathered and he did not see any weapon or physical altercation. He thought it was drunk people arguing and he admitted having drinks himself.
This statement was read to the jury during the prosecution’s case. During their deliberations, jurors asked to have the statement read to them again. They also asked to review footage from a CCTV camera in the area. The stabbing apparently took place in an area not covered by the camera, which, however, did show people coming and going around the time of the incident.
The jury heard that when officers first questioned Seymour about the stabbing, he urged them to check the CCTV, saying it would show his innocence.
Giving evidence from the witness box, Seymour said he saw an argument develop between two friends of his and he named them. He saw the argument turn into a fight with both men drawing weapons. He said he and others tried to part them. It was too dark to see the weapons and he did not know what happened to them afterward. He suggested that the complainant could have been stabbed during that incident.
Asked why he had not told police about that fight when he was interviewed, Seymour said he did not want to get involved and he had not seen any stabbing.
Asked about any previous convictions, Seymour acknowledged several for assault, but told the court he had never stabbed anyone or been charged with using a weapon.
As part of facts agreed to by the defense and prosecution, jurors were told that the complainant/victim also had previous convictions – for robbery and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit an offense.
As the main prosecution witness, he had acknowledged being in prison. On the night of the incident, he said, he went to a bar after work and had a couple of beers. He went to another bar and had five more beers. When he got to Seven Mile Shops he met up with a man he named and a few girls.
There he saw Seymour, who called him “a Dog City punk” (the location being an old nickname for a part of George Town). He said he looked away and tried to ignore Seymour, but the older man kept throwing slurs at him. Then, he said, Seymour “boxed” him in his shirt. Some time after that, he had trouble breathing and got a friend to take him to hospital.
In cross-examination it was put to him that he was drunk and did not know who stabbed him. The complainant said that was not so.
The investigating officer was asked about the complainant’s identification of Mark Hilary as the man who had stabbed him. She said she understood that he had not named anyone when officers first spoke to him at the hospital, but she thought that could have been due to the effect of medication. When she spoke to him after midday, he had named his attacker.