General — 21 November 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
BDF soldier fined $500 for harm upon common-law wife

BELIZE CITY–A Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier whom police charged with a single count of harm, pleaded guilty to the charge when he was arraigned in the courtroom of Magistrate Dale Cayetano, this afternoon.

Rodney Menzies, 32, a resident of Antelope Street Extension, Belize City, who was released on police bail, walked into the courtroom of Magistrate Dale Cayetano and pleaded guilty to the one count of harm.

Menzies was spared prison time and a fine was imposed on him instead. (The offense of harm carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years.)

Magistrate Cayetano fined him $500 plus $5 cost of court and ordered him to pay the entire fine by January 31, 2015. If he defaults on payment, he will have to spend one year in prison.

The charge against Menzies arose from a domestic dispute at his Antelope Street Extension home on November 18. Menzies’ common-law wife, Michelle Benguche, reported to police that he had pushed her down, causing an injury to her left leg.

Benguche was issued with a police medico/legal form and a doctor who examined her classified her injury as harm.

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