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By Latrishka Thomas

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The man charged with the alleged assault and battery of community activist Mary John, made his first appearance in the St John’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Patrick Laurent came armed with a legal representative, Attorney Wendel Robinson, when his case was called before Magistrate Conliffe Clarke.

Activist, Mary John. (File photo)

However, no plea was taken in the matter and the case was adjourned until April 19 since the court is not presently holding any trials.

Laurent is believed to have mooned and hit the well-known activist at a gas station in St. John’s on March 18.

John, 56, told Observer that she was at the gas station to take pictures of what she described as improper storage of bulk waste on a truck when some men from a garbage truck began verbally abusing her.

When the situation began escalating, John started videotaping the ordeal.

That’s when the older of the two men whom she alleged was the owner of the truck, pulled his pants down and mooned her.   

Thereafter, the man allegedly approached John and hit her.

John said that for the past 14 years, she has been a strong advocate against littering and the illegal disposal of garbage and bulk waste, and she was taking pictures because she “thought it would be best if loose garbage was bagged because the more the garbage was loaded, the more the wind blew it away.”

John also reported being in pain after the incident.