Judge Fines Former Police Officer $25,000
Trial judge, Justice Brian Cottle, fined former police officer Edward Ravalliere of Jimmit $10,000 and ordered compensation of $15,000 to be paid in six months for causing grievous bodily harm to neighbour, fire officer Tony Jno Baptiste.
A nine member all-female jury found Ravalliere guilty of the offence at the Roseau High Court on Friday January 18, 2013 in what was the second trial on the same charge in three months. On Tuesday October 16, 2012 a jury of six men and three men were divided 5-4 after nearly two hours of deliberation in their verdict against Edward Ravalliere.
Justice Cottle set Ravalliere's sentencing for Friday February 8, 2013. State Attorney Arthlyn Nesty led the prosecution for the state with Dawn Yearwood-Stewart conducting the defence on behalf of Ravalliere.
Ravalliere was accused of injuring Jno Baptiste in a fight over Ravalliere's 16 year-old daughter. Yearwood-Stewart, in mitigation on behalf of Ravalliere, and quoting from a social inquiry report, told the court that Jno Baptiste did not want Ravalliere to be sent to prison, because he had his business and family to take care of. She said the virtual complainant was not opposed to compensation. The daughter of the convicted man in that report indicated that she and her father had issues, and that the relationship had taken different forms of abuse.
Judge Cottle pointed out the aggravating features in Ravalliere's case were the use of a weapon; assault was premeditated; and it was a serious offence resulting in serious injury. He said the convicted man had shown absolutely no remorse for his actions, had not said sorry for injuring his neighbor, and his remorse was not for his actions but for the circumstances which forced him to react.
Justice Cottle pointed out that the maximum prison sentence for that offence was 10 years. The judge noted that without the intervention of Jno Baptiste he would have imposed a serious custodial sentence on Ravalliere.
The judge accepted the fact that the offence happened a long time ago and that there was no repetition of that sort of behavior, and that the virtual complainant had asked for compensation for the injuries he had received.
After some negotiation by Stewart and Jno Baptiste, the complainant settled on $15,000 in compensation.
Justice Cottle gave Ravalliere three months to pay the compensation and six months to pay a court fine of $10,000. In default on either of these fines, Ravalliere would go to prison for two years; and if both fines were breached, the prison sentences would run consecutively.
Justice Cottle also placed Ravalliere on bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. If he reoffended he would be taken back to court for sentencing on this current offence. The judge hoped that the three weeks incarceration at Stock Farm waiting for sentencing would have caused Ravalliere to reflect. The judge also advised that he should manage his anger issues.