By Latrishka Thomas
A Clare Hall resident accused of beating an American University of Antigua (AUA) student with a stick will be facing a more serious charge than had originally been laid against him.
After he was charged with battery, Nicholas Andrew appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh yesterday.
However, the prosecution indicated that they will not be taking the defendant’s plea in the matter just yet because they intend to bump up the charge to a heftier summary offence.
The matter was therefore adjourned to March 2, at which time the Dominican-born man will answer to the new charge.
The offence in question allegedly took place on February 17.
According to the accused, he is a taxi driver for Lindon Spencer services which provides a taxi service to students attending the university.
However, having noted that he was driving a vehicle bearing a ‘C plate’, the magistrate questioned the claim and ordered the prosecution to look into that issue since taxi registration plates are identified by the letter ‘T’.
Andrew was reportedly hired to pick up someone from Casanova Restaurant and take the person to Breeze Pointe Apartments in Langfords.
It is said that after he picked up the complainant and was getting close to the destination, the complainant indicated that he forgot his bag and wanted to go back for it.
Andrew reportedly took him back to the Casanova Restaurant and then to the apartment, but on the way there he overheard the complainant on the phone asking someone for EC $25.
The defendant informed the alleged victim that the fare was actually EC $45 since he had made three trips in total.
The complainant reportedly became irate and spat in the defendant’s face.
Andrew claimed that he found a stick and used it to beat the student, but he still never received the money.
The medical report is said to indicate that the university student sustained injuries all over his body but Andrew believes that “somebody made that up”.
The defendant was granted bail in the sum of $10,000 with a cash component of $5,000.
He also has to report to a police station three days a week, provide one local surety and surrender his travel documents in order to guarantee his temporary release.