By FARRAH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN who assaulted his girlfriend during a domestic dispute last month was bound over to keep the peace for a year.
Joseph Saunders, 37, was accused of hitting his girlfriend in her neck on October 2.
The court heard the woman told police she was in the Kemp Road area with Saunders when he slapped her twice about the neck. As a result of her complaint, the defendant was arrested. In an interview at Wulff Road Police Station, Saunders admitted to the offence.
During the hearing before Magistrate Samuel McKinney, Saunders pleaded guilty. He also told the magistrate the incident only occurred because he and his girlfriend had a “little misunderstanding”. He claimed during the disagreement, he ended up “scratching” her on her neck in the heat of the moment.
Yesterday, Saunders’ girlfriend attended the arraignment and attempted to drop the charges. Still, Magistrate McKinney said he would not allow her to withdraw the assault charge since the defendant pleaded guilty.
He explained the court did not take domestic disputes lightly as there was a possibility for the abuse to continue even after the charges were dropped. Noting the recent increase in domestic violence in the country, Magistrate McKinney also told the woman that domestic situations could prove fatal if not adequately addressed.
As a result, Saunders was bound to keep the peace for 12 months. If he fails to be of good behaviour during that time frame, he will spend three months in prison.