Justice Alistair Malcolm sent out a warning on Friday when he sentenced Cory Godfrey Bowen to five years and three months’ imprisonment for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
“Knives are lethal weapons and, if taken to any confrontation, can easily cause fatal consequences,” the judge said. “Anybody using a knife in a fight can expect to be dealt with severely by the courts.”
Bowen, 30, had pleaded not guilty to the charge after an incident on June 13, 2015. Bowen and the 24-year-old complainant had a relationship with the same woman and the stabbing took place outside her home.
A Grand Court jury heard the evidence in March and returned a guilty verdict. The complainant sustained three stab wounds to the head and neck and a significant wound to the abdomen.
The incident occurred after Bowen was dropping the woman to her car around 5 a.m. The other man was there, so the woman asked Bowen to take her home. The man followed them to the woman’s apartment. The two men exchanged words and Bowen got out of his car with a knife and approached the other man.
The judge quoted the complainant’s evidence verbatim: “As he got closer to me, I hit him and that’s how it all happened. The knife was in his right hand. He was walking briskly toward me. I had not walked toward him. I boxed him because I’d been injured before and I was not going to get anyone close to me like that.
“After I hit him, I got him into a headlock, managed to get him to the ground and started to box him. That’s when he got his arm around and put a knife to my neck. I was trying to control him, as he had a knife in his hand. He was trying to stab me.”
The woman shouted at Bowen, telling him, “Stop, you’re killing him,” the judge said. A neighbor came over and told the complainant, “You’re bleeding a lot. Try to get off him.”
The fight ended, but Bowen continued to threaten the other man verbally. The man left the scene, not realizing the extent of his injuries, and eventually collapsed. Meanwhile, the woman had called 911 and an ambulance carried him to hospital.
“Fortunately, apart from the scars, he has made a full recovery,” the judge noted. “The scarring, he says, is a permanent reminder of the attack.”
Defense attorney Prathna Bodden pointed out that Bowen had no previous convictions for violence of any kind, asserting that his behavior that night was out of character and without premeditation. She explained that Bowen was in emotional turmoil because his brother had been shot that night; he had gone to the hospital but was unable to find out what the prognosis was.
The judge accepted these submissions, but emphasized, “The jury found that when you attacked [the complainant] you intended to cause him serious harm. When you decide to use a knife in a fight, it’s often pure chance whether the victim is killed, suffers a life-changing injury or gets away relatively unscathed. However, the sentencing court has to take to account the seriousness of the injury actually caused.”