Magistrate orders psychiatric assessment for convict

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By Latrishka Thomas

Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh requested a mental health assessment for Denzil Howell after he pleaded guilty to seven charges in the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The charges were brought against him after an incident with his ex-girlfriend, which occurred in May 2019.

Howell pleaded guilty to beating the complainant (his ex-girlfriend); causing grievous bodily harm; unlawfully entering and remaining on the complainant’s premises and her neighbour’s premises; being armed with an offensive weapon (a wooden rolling pin); and using threatening language on two separate occasions.

According to the facts presented by the prosecution, Howell went to the Tanner Street home of the complainant on the 14th of May, despite being warned previously not to contact her.

When asked to leave, he refused and demanded money from the woman. After she denied his request he threatened her with a knife, which caused her to run and seek refuge in her vehicle.

The next day, he went to her home again and refused to leave, so the complainant sought refuge at her neighbour’s house and the defendant followed her and refused to leave upon the neighbour’s request.

The police were then contacted and when they arrived, they heard screams and saw several people running.

As the officers got close, they saw the defendant standing over the complainant, beating her with his fist.

Upon being removed from the scene, Howell shouted the complainant’s name saying, “I love you but I’m guilty.”

After the facts were presented, Howell denied having demanded money from his ex-girlfriend and, in his defense, said that he has been struggling with a drug addiction.

Noting that Howell’s actions did not appear to be that of a reasonable man, Chief Magistrate Walsh said that she would have him assessed at the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital before deciding on a sentence.

In 2013, Howell was sentenced to six years in jail for manslaughter in relation to the 2010 killing of Cuban doctor Nivaldo Quintana.

And at that time his behaviour was deemed a cause for concern, according to sources at Her Majesty’s Prison.

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