A woman who pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm in a bar was fined on Monday and told she would have a conviction recorded against her.
Gina Galangi Pangwi, 51, admitted to using a bottle to inflict injury on an innocent third party on Nov. 25, 2017, at a bar in The Strand.
Defense attorney John Furniss told Magistrate Valdis Foldats that there was a family problem between Ms. Pangwi and her sister. At the bar, drink had been thrown between them.
The defendant had a bottle in her hand and her intention was to throw it at or toward her sister. When she raised her hand, the woman behind her got hit, the court heard.
Crown counsel Emma Hutchinson said the victim sustained a cut above her eye that required six stitches. She asked for compensation, although she did not have a record of medical expenses.
Ms. Hutchinson agreed that the defendant had said she was sorry for hitting the woman and that she had meant to hit her sister. She noted, however, that when Ms. Pangwi was interviewed by police, she had replied, “No comment,” or “I can’t recall.”
Mr. Furniss emphasized the early guilty plea. He said Ms. Pangwi had expressed sadness over the situation with her sister because they had been close growing up and she needed to deal with the problem.
The magistrate noted that Ms. Pangwi’s work permit had expired in June. She had left Cayman to go home to the Philippines and had come back for the court case. She was without a work permit because there had been a problem with her employer’s trade and business license.
The magistrate said this was a “gender neutral” offense – it did not matter whether the defendant was a man or a woman. “Anyone who uses a weapon in a bar is clearly not concerned with consequences,” he said.
Further, it did not matter that she intended to hit her sister – she had intended to hit someone and a third party had suffered.
Ms. Pangwi’s most serious punishment will be the conviction recorded against her, the magistrate noted. As a foreign national, she would now have difficulty getting employment in Cayman, he pointed out.
Given her previous good character and positive social inquiry report, he was able to deal with sentence by way of a fine of $300. He also ordered compensation in the sum of $300, saying this could be awarded “for pain and suffering,” even if the victim did have insurance to cover medical expenses.
Since Ms. Pangwi’s permission to remain on island expires at the end of this month, she was required to provide a local surety who will be responsible for payment if the money is not paid by Aug. 31.