Man ordered to pay compensation for J’Ouvert morning stabbing

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A 30-year-old woman – stabbed multiple times in an unprovoked attack as she was leaving the J’Ouvert event on Monday – has said she is still in severe pain as a result of the injuries and hopes the man who admitted to the crime pays her the $5,000 compensation as ordered by the court.

Speaking exclusively with OBSERVER media yesterday, the victim, who did not want to be named due to fear for her safety, said she was recently laid off and does not have sufficient funds to seek the medical care she needs going forward, nor to pay the bill already accrued for treatment at Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.

Joseph Benjamin is the man who stabbed the woman four times – to the right side of her head, near her left breast, above her left eye, and to her left shoulder. On Wednesday, he admitted to the charge of wounding. Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh ordered him to compensate the victim $5,000 and if he fails to do so, he would be jailed for 18 months.

The stabber pleaded with the court for a lighter sentence, saying he did not have any money and he has to take care of his son.

According to the woman, her attacker followed her through the city into the Heritage Quay area some time after 10 am while directing insulting remarks at her, but she ignored him since she did not know him and was at the time unsure who his words were meant for.

The woman said the man was walking with a child, who police later found out is his nine-year-old son.

“When I passed Immigration and reached by the abandoned building by the parking lot, he grabbed me from behind and put his hand around my neck, choking me, and I started to feel numb around my left shoulder. That’s where I got one of the stabs,” she recalled.

The victim said she tried to fight off the man who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, and at the same time the child who was with him was screaming and pleading with the man to stop.

The injured woman said that in order to protect herself, she pushed the man against the wall of a building and managed to break free briefly.

“I asked why he is attacking me and he came at me like he was crazy … I fell and he was stabbing me. Another guy came and held onto him and pulled me, and he came towards me again,” she added.

Had it not been for the Good Samaritan, the woman said she was likely to have been more severely hurt, perhaps killed.

She said the man who assisted her called the police and a female officer came almost immediately and she (the victim) was taken to the hospital.

The injured woman said some of the details after the stabbing were still hazy up to yesterday, including whether the man was arrested on the spot or whether he escaped and the police found him.

“I don’t know how he was caught by the police; I don’t know what happened, but I am grateful that someone helped me. Right now, though, I am not feeling well. I am experiencing chest pains as a result of the stab and I cannot afford to pay the hospital and I told them that and the lady at the hospital treated me and said it’s okay for now because I didn’t cause it on myself. But I still have that bill and I still think I need to see a doctor but I don’t have the money,” she said.

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