Mother, daughter convicted in swimming-pool beating

A Grand Court jury returned mixed verdicts Tuesday against a mother and daughter who had beaten an elderly Cayman Brac man in a swimming pool.

The victim, Brently Lazzari, 79, is the husband and father of the defendants – Carol Ann Lazzari 68, and Carley Lynn Lazzari, 28.

Brently Lazzari said he was swimming in their backyard pool on 31 March last year, when he was struck on the top of his head.

The court heard that the blow was so strong it turned Lazzari’s head to the side, and he looked up and saw his daughter, Carley Lynn, standing above him with a meat tenderiser attached to her wrist.

Lazzari told the court the two struggled back and forth in the pool, all while he was being continuously struck by his daughter with the tenderiser. He said while he was fending off his daughter, his wife entered the pool and joined in the attack.

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The jury heard that he managed to fend off the women and escaped the pool, but was cornered by them a short distance away, where he was beaten with a PVC pipe.

The women gave a different account. Carley Lynn Lazzari said she discovered her father unresponsive in the pool, and when she went to check on him, she said he became aggressive and began hitting her. She told the court she called her mother for help and asked her to call the police.

Carol Ann Lazzari told the court she was awoken by her daughter calling out for help from the backyard. She said she went outside and saw her husband repeatedly punching their daughter in the face. She told the court that while making her way into the pool she saw what looked like blood stains on the edge of the pool, and she believed her husband might have fallen, hit his head, and become confused – which could have led to the attack.

Both women accepted that Brently Lazzari received injuries at their hands, but they said they were acting in self defence.

When summing up the trial today, Justice Cheryll Richards told the jury if they believed the women were acting in self defence then they were to find them not guilty of the charges.

Both women were charged with one count of wounding with intent or causing grievous bodily harm.

“The charges are alternate charges, which mean you can only find the defendants guilty of one or the other charge, but not both,” said Richards.

After deliberating for several hours, the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts. Carol Ann Lazzari was found not guilty of the more serious charge of wounding with intent, but guilty of causing grievous bodily harm. Carley Lynn Lazzari was found guilty of wounding with intent.

Both women were released on bail and a social inquiry report was ordered. They are to return for sentencing on 27 Oct.

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