Woman survived attack by playing dead; man sentenced to 6 years

A man scheduled to go on trial for attempted murder was sentenced on Thursday to six years’ imprisonment after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of wounding with intent.

The defendant, Meleton Rosales Maick, was jealous and drunk at the time he cut a woman’s neck with a knife in January this year, defense attorney John Furniss said.

The woman, 43, lost so much blood that she required a transfusion, Mr. Furniss acknowledged. However, he pointed out, it appeared that the bleeding was from the webbing between her thumb and forefinger rather than from her neck, where the knife had been held.

Crown counsel Nicole Petit said the wounding occurred on Jan. 21 at a West Bay residence around 10 p.m. She said the victim had known Maick about a month. There was no relationship between them, but Maick had been coming to her father’s house as a visitor. Her own house was in the same yard.

On the day of the wounding, he brought her a bag of gifts, which she refused. He then said she should keep them for him. Later, when he returned, she was in her house with her son and his friends and Maick seemed to react negatively to this. He left, but came back when she was alone and he asked her to give him the bag.

He took a knife from her kitchen, approached her and said “I’m going to kill you like a f––- pig.” He put the knife to her neck and she put up her hand. The knife cut the side of her neck and her hand.

“This was a defenseless woman,” Justice Quin pointed out. “Some people would say it should be more.”

The woman pretended to be dead and Maick left. She was then able to call for help and was taken to hospital.

Police officers found Maick at his own premises, hiding in a closet. He told them the devil made him do something bad, as he was drunk.

Mr. Furniss said Maick, 59, a Honduran seaman, had come to Cayman on a fishing vessel which was then held up by Customs. Maick had been here before on other fishing trips with no incident, he said.

Maick had been drinking that day – he thought he had consumed three six-packs of beer – and had little memory of what had happened, the attorney said.

Mr. Furniss asked the court to consider Maick’s early admissions and willingness to plead to wounding, but not to the attempted murder charge. He also emphasized the fact that Maick did not take a weapon to the premises. He agreed that self-induced intoxication is no defense, but said alcohol must have played a part in the incident.

Maick did not try to avoid responsibility for what had happened and he apologized, but considered that he would not have made the comment attributed to him.

Ms. Petit listed the aggravating features – the fact that the attack occurred inside the woman’s own home, the use of the knife, that Maick was on bail because of ganja found on his boat, and the ongoing effect on the victim, who continued to be anxious and have nightmares.

Justice Charles Quin said, “She did nothing to provoke this attack.” The facts as presented had given Maick no grounds for jealousy and no grounds for picking up a knife. The defendant seemed to have gone into a complete fit of rage, the judge commented, before handing down the six-year sentence.

“This was a defenseless woman,” Justice Quin pointed out. “Some people would say it should be more.”

Justice Quin referred to the doctor’s report in this case. The woman’s injuries were described as serious but not permanent.

The judge said he thought six years was fair, given the horrific nature of the attack. With a starting point of nine years, and full discount for the plea, the sentence was six years.