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US national found guilty of choking boy

...she's ordered to pay fines forthwith

By Jensen LaVende jensen.lavende@trinidadexpress.com

A US national was yesterday ordered to pay $1,400 in fines and compensation after she pleaded guilty to choking a ten year old boy at the Hilton Trinidad hotel in Port of Spain.

Destiny Ramjohn appeared before Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar charged with common assault against Jaden Bunhomme.

When the matter was first called the 32-year-old told the Chief Magistrate she did not remember the incident. A few hours later Ramjohn re-appeared, this time with a guilty plea and attorney CJ Williams.

According to the facts read out by court prosecutor Insp Gail Charles, Bunhomme was walking down the corridors of the hotel around 6.35 p.m. on Sunday when Ramjohn grabbed him by the neck and choked him to the ground where she continued choking him.

Bunhomme managed to escape and reported the matter to his parents, who then informed the police officers at the Belmont Police Station.

Ramjohn of Baltimore Maryland, USA, through her attorney, told Ayers-Caesar she was studying for her PhD in Public Health and was very remorseful for what she did. Williams added that her client was at the time of the incident very intoxicated, which was not a defence. He said Ramjohn had to be informed by a friend of what she had done. He then apologised both to the court and Bunhomme on his client's behalf.

Charles then asked that the victim be compensated as Bunhomme was in intense pain and the compensation would address any further issues he may have.

Williams' claim that the damage was soft tissue damage and not deep tissue was not accepted by Ayers-Caesar who awarded Bunhomme $1,500 to be paid forthwith or Ramjohn would serve three weeks simple imprisonment. The compensation was ordered to be paid to Paul Hickson, Bunhomme's father.

Ramjohn, who is scheduled to leave the country on Wednesday, was also fined $400 which had to be paid forthwith or serve three weeks in prison with hard labour.

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