BARBADOS – An Englishman who stashed a $50 note in the bosom of a female taxi driver and slapped her on the bottom said: “we were joking”.
However, it was no joking matter for Bridgetown Magistrate Kristie Cuffy-Sargeant when 44-year-old James Patrick O’Rouke, of 50 Peach Road, Willehall, West Midlands, England pleaded guilty to unlawfully assaulting Charmaine Alleyne and resisting police constable Shaquille McClean in the execution of his duty on May 19.
Officer Kenmore Phillips revealed that the two were at a service station located at Top Rock around 12:45 a.m. Alleyne was seated in the deli near the ATM machine which O’Rouke was using. The two struck up a conversation and during that time the accused reached over and placed the money in her cleavage. She attempted to return it to him, but he refused. He then made a purchase at the cash register and as he was leaving reached back and slapped the woman on her buttocks. The incident was reported to police who had arrived at the scene. The visitor resisted officer McClean as he was being placed under arrest.
In court today when the magistrate asked O’Rouke whether he had anything to say, he answered “No Your Honour”, while Alleyne who said she did not know the visitor, said she felt “embarrassed”.
An immigration officer who was in court revealed that the Englishman arrived on island on May 12, on a 10-day visit but was granted a three-month stay.
“I am shocked. I am shocked, honestly, I am really, shocked,” Cuffy-Sargeant stated after all the facts were presented to her.
Informing the accused that he would be remanded for sentencing she also took the time to send a message to the accused and others.
“I am going to warn you and any other visitor who comes to this island. We may be a small island but we do not have small minds,” she stated.
O’Rouke responded: “We were just joking.”
But the magistrate was not amused.
“You think this is a joke. You disrespected a lady and you think this is a joke. If this is how you behave in your country, this is not how we behave here. You understand that?” she asked to which he answered “yes”.
He was then remanded to return before the District ‘A’ Magistrates’ Court tomorrow for sentencing.