Legal Wrangling: Man arrested for assault after seven years
A man who ran away from his home seven years ago after he used a machete to beat his neighbour all over her body is now before the court for assaulting her.
However, relatives of the accused man are upset that the neighbour is going ahead with the case against him.
One of his relatives said that the police should not have arrested him because the incident took place a long time ago.
"I cannot understand why the police came and arrested my nephew for an offence which the complainant alleged took place seven years ago," she said.
"It is the very complainant who first boxed my nephew after they had a quarrel over an ackee tree in her yard. The leaves from the ackee tree were always falling into our yard and my nephew had to be sweeping them up everyday. One morning, he called out to the woman telling her that she should cut the ackee tree limbs from over our yard or he was going to cut them off.
"The woman said she had no control over the ackee tree and no one had the right to cut her tree. My nephew took a machete and chopped off three limbs off the tree and the woman flew into a rage. She threw stones at my nephew, but he ran away.
"The next day, she saw my nephew sitting in the front of his yard and she came over and boxed him. My nephew became very angry and took a machete and beat her all over her body. She went to the police station and made a report against my nephew. I told my nephew that he should also go to the police station and make a report against her for assaulting him. He said he could not bother with the courthouse business.
"The next day, my nephew got a job in Kingston and went there to live with one of his aunts. The police came later in the week asking for my nephew and I told them he was now living in Kingston.
"Last month, my nephew got leave from his job and came home to spend two weeks with us. The neighbour with whom he had the dispute went to the police station and reported that he was in the area. The police came and arrested him for assault occasioning actual bodily harm. I think it is unfair because the incident took place such a long time ago," she said.
It must be noted that there is no time limit in law for persons to be charged with a criminal offences. There is, however, a six-year limit in civil cases, so such cases have to be filed within six years of the cause of the action.