Crime General — 19 September 2014

BELIZE CITY–A Belize City woman has been remanded to the Central Prison after she was found guilty of causing harm to another woman when her case concluded at the Magistrate’s Court late this morning.

Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith told Crystal Nunez, 27, an employee at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel, “I find you guilty of harm. You are a belligerent woman. I believe that the same behavior you exhibited in this court is the same way you acted when you caused harm to Ms. Clark.”

After finding her guilty, Smith told Nunez, “I am remanding you until September 30, when you will be sentenced.”

Nunez, who appeared in court unrepresented by an attorney, was found guilty of causing harm to Vanessa Clark, 19.

Clark, at the trial, testified that Nunez went to her workplace on Mahogany Street, held her by her blouse and punched her in the mouth, bursting her upper lip.

In her testimony, Clark told the court that she was conversing at her work with a friend when Nunez, a woman that she has known for five years, came and accused her and the friend she was talking with of gossiping about her.

Clark told the court that Nunez left, after telling her some unpleasant things about herself, but after a few minutes, she returned, and that was when she punched her in the mouth.
Clark testified that Nunez has accused her of spreading rumors about her.

In her defense, Nunez gave sworn testimony. She denied the allegation that she punched Clark in the mouth. She admitted, however, that she held her by her clothing.

Under cross-examination by the court’s prosecutor, Corporal Christopher Smith, Nunez subsequently admitted that she punched Clark in the mouth after Clark allegedly had spat in her face.

So when Nunez was cross-examined, this time on the witness stand, the prosecutor asked her, “Didn’t you admit that you punched Ms. Clark on her mouth?”

Nunez was silent for a moment, before she said: “I am telling you that I did not punch her.”

“I put it to you that you are lying. You punched Ms. Clark in her mouth and then you came to this court and lied about it,” the prosecutor declared to Nunez on the witness stand.

On a summary conviction, harm carries a prison term ranging from six months up to three years.

The Magistrate, however, could be discretionary and impose a fine upon someone convicted of harm.


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