A father pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm in Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday for punching his daughter in the face after she left an empty juice box in the kitchen sink.
The man’s 21-year-old daughter, who brought him to court for the assault, told Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague that her father became bitter and violent after her mother took him to family court over an altercation the estranged couple had. The couple were now sleeping in separate rooms as her mother now shared a room with her sisters.
“My mother and him were in some altercation, which she brought him to the family court. That’s the whole reason he chooses to throw things at us,” she explained. “He attempted to pull his knife at me. We had an altercation in which he used a gas cylinder hit my leg with. It’s been going on for a year and four months.”
However, Wayne Smith had shared a different reason why he reacted with physical assault when he found the empty box resting on a plate in the kitchen sink. With his reason having more to do with his daughter being disrespectful and messy, he told the judge that his frustration pushed him over the edge.
According to the father, the house hardly ever remains clean because his daughter always makes a mess despite how he cleans it before he goes to work.
Stating that he wanted his 21-year-old daughter out of his house, he added, “I got two summons for her already and because she is my daughter I never did anything.” He stressed that she is disrespectful in his house and that “the sink is full of garbage and dirty plates” because of her.
Subsequently, Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague ruled that the entire family should attend counselling because it “must be uncomfortable for everyone” to be living in “one house” with “a different household”.
She continued to explain her understanding of “why even a box juice” would be offensive while adding, “Dirty house” would “trigger” anyone, especially with the fact that they were not “having a very good relationship”.
Lastly, she said, “I think there needs to be some dialogue with this family. I’m going to refer the matter for counselling because you pleaded guilty but I’m not going to sentence you now.”
Upon the judge’s ruling Smith, whose bail was extended, would pay $30,000 in restitution to his daughter and he made half of that payment in court on Tuesday. The next court date is set for July 18, which is when he will pay the remaining half of the money and face sentencing.