After a jury found him guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, Dain Dameon McPherson was sentenced on Wednesday to six years’ imprisonment.
He had admitted hitting a co-worker on the head with a hammer, but said he did it in self-defense. The jury’s unanimous verdict was handed down in April while Justice Michael Wood was in Cayman on a temporary appointment; the sentencing took place via Skype.
Crown counsel Toyin Salako reminded the court that, on Sept. 1, 2017, at Foster’s Food Fair in Savannah, the defendant attacked O’Shane Myles in a manner she described as unprovoked and sustained. After co-workers disarmed him of the hammer, he picked up a knife, although Mr. Myles was clearly bleeding and injured from the assault with the hammer.
Defense attorney Amelia Fosuhene said Mr. McPherson apologized to the court and to the complainant. She said her client had been bullied at work and on the day of the incident he reacted to what he felt was bullying.
“If he had to do it over again or deal with the situation over again, he would clearly take a different course,” she told the court. She described the offense as “a momentary lapse of someone who is normally calm, kind and helpful … somebody who was reacting to the significant bullying and some provocation, I say, that he was facing in his workplace.”
Justice Wood said the jury had rejected Mr. McPherson’s defense of self-defense. “The evidence against you was, in truth, overwhelming. Whilst I’m just persuaded there may have been an element of provocation by Mr. Myles, that did not and cannot provide you with a defense.”
The judge pointed out that CCTV had shown Mr. McPherson moving quickly to where he knew a hammer was stored and then, after Mr. Myles took it from him, he took it back and hit his victim a number of times.
“You are extremely fortunate that Mr. Myles did not suffer far more serious injuries,” he told the defendant. By aiming blows with that hammer to the victim’s head, he must have intended to inflict more serious harm than actually resulted, he commented.
The judge said the only mitigation was Mr. McPherson’s previous good character. He said he would recommend deportation after the sentence was completed. He regretted that he could not order compensation because the defendant was in no position to pay.
Time in custody will count toward the sentence.