Nigel Pearson, a 35-year-old vendor accused of slapping a woman in the face for reportedly calling him a thief, is to be sentenced on May 24.
The vendor, who admitted to hitting the woman during a heated argument in Oracabessa, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm, when he appeared before the St Mary Parish Court last Thursday, April 19.
It is alleged that on Friday, April 6, Pearson was selling watermelons, when the complainant walked up to his stall and accused him of stealing a phone belonging to her son.
The vendor denied the allegations being laid against him and told the woman to leave because he did not want to do anything “out of ignorance.”
The woman continued to accuse him of stealing the phone, which she claimed is valued at $20,000 and demanded the money to replace it.
Pearson later became infuriated and slapped the woman in her face. He was then restrained by onlookers from further hitting the woman.
A report was filed by the woman to the police and following investigations, Pearson was arrested and charged.
When he appeared before the court last Thursday, Pearson told Parish Judge Yvette Miller that he was wrong in hitting the woman.
“Mi sorry for hitting her, but she can’t a call mi tief Your Honor. A that get to mi,” Pearson told the court.
Judge Miller told the accused that he could not go around hitting persons despite what was being said about his character.
She enquired of the clerk of court whether the complainant, who was not present in court, had filed a report to the police about the theft of the phone.
However, the clerk indicated that she was informed by the investigating officer that the complainant had given a statement regarding the stolen phone and a probe is continuing into that matter by another officer.
When asked if he had any previous convictions, Pearson indicated that he had served three months’ probation in 1999 for stealing items from a supermarket and was charged for allegedly hitting his girlfriend in 2007.
“But she (my girlfriend) drop the matter Your Honor. Just beg yuh a chance Your Honor. Mi know mi wrong,” the vendor pleaded.
A social enquiry report and an antecedent report were ordered by the judge to aid in her sentencing.
Pearson had his bail extended to return to court later next month when he is to learn his fate.